Project Expected to Create Over 700 Jobs and Create Greater Efficiencies in the Manufacturing of Photovoltaic Modules

Washington D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the Department has finalized a $197 million loan guarantee to SoloPower, Inc.  The loan guarantee will support the construction and operation of state-of-the-art thin-film solar module manufacturing facilities at two sites in Portland, Oregon and an existing site in San Jose, California.  When completed and at full capacity, the facilities are expected to produce over 400 megawatts of flexible photovoltaic (PV) modules annually.  SoloPower estimates the project will create approximately 450 permanent jobs and 270 construction jobs.

“Innovations that improve our nation’s manufacturing processes are key to our future energy independence,” said Secretary Chu.  “Investments in projects like SoloPower stimulate job creation, strengthen America’s competitiveness and will help lower the cost of clean, renewable energy.”

The SoloPower Project uses innovative manufacturing technology to produce low-cost, high efficiency copper, indium, gallium and (di) selenide (“CIGS”) -based photovoltaic cells.  The CIGS cells are then packaged into unique, flexible, lightweight solar modules that, when deployed, result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition, the modules require less hardware and are easier to install than traditional solar panels.

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) administers three separate programs: the Title XVII Section 1703 and Section 1705 loan guarantee programs, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The loan guarantee programs support the deployment of commercial technologies along with innovative technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, while ATVM supports the development of advanced vehicle technologies. To date, the LPO has issued loans, loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $40 billion to support 41 clean energy projects across the U.S.  DOE has issued conditional commitments or loan guarantees to support numerous projects, including several of the world’s largest solar generation facilities, three geothermal projects, the world’s largest wind farm, and the nation’s first new nuclear power plant in three decades. For more information, please visit the Loan Programs Office website.

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