Solar Panel Maker SoloPower Gets Fed Loan

SoloPower, a thin fim solar manufacturer planning to open an Oregon plant that reportedly will create 270 jobs readying it and some 500 other jobs when production gears up, got a $197 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help make its build out a reality. This is on top plans for a $20 million loan from the state as well as a $20 million state tax credit, all of which will go towards the plant’s projected $340 million cost.

The DOE said the Wilsonville, Oregon based facility “will produce, higher efficiency PV panels for roof-top applications that, when deployed, will provide significant greenhouse gas reductions.” The SoloPower thin fim solar manufacturing process is said to deposit “copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) onto rolls of flexible stainless steel materials and transforms them into flexible modules.  This approach improves module size and weight, ease of installation, and reduces mounting hardware.”

Thin-film solar panel manufacturer SoloPower

image via SoloPower

When completed and at full capacity, it is said the Oregon SoloPower facility is expected to produce over 400 megawatts of flexible photovoltaic (PV) panels annually. The loan offered by the DOE will help towards “the retrofit of an existing building and installation of additional equipment to operate a thin-film solar panel manufacturing facility.”

“Investments like these are going to help America become a world leader again in clean energy manufacturing,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  “This Recovery Act funded project is going to create jobs in Oregon while generating a clean source of renewable energy.”

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