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SoloPower Receives DOE Loan Guarantee To Construct Thin-Film PV Factory

Posted On:
October 28, 2015
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United States
» Colorado

SoloPower, a San Jose, Calif.-based manufacturer of flexible thin-film solar cells and modules, has received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office for a $197 million loan guarantee.The funds will support construction of a facility that, when completed and at full capacity, is expected to produce approximately 400 MW of thin-film PV modules annually.SoloPower announced earlier this year that it had come to an agreement to construct its first large-scale, high-volume manufacturing plant in Wilsonville, Ore. Retrofit of the existing building is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year. According to the company, the factory is expected to provide direct employment to approximately 500 people once it is running at full capacity.  About 270 construction jobs will be created to build the plant, and additional jobs are also likely to be generated in the local supply chain.

By a four-to-one margin, an overwhelming majority of Americans support the use of federal loan guarantees to encourage investment in the clean energy technologies identified by President Obama in his recent State of the Union address, according to a new survey sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).A total of 79% of respondents agreed with the following statement: "To jump-start investment and maintain U.S. competitiveness, the federal government should provide guarantees backing loans for building solar, wind, advanced-design nuclear power plants or other energy technology that reduces greenhouse gases." Nineteen percent of those surveyed stated they did not agree, and 2% stated they did not know.

Solar power more than doubled in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y., last year as Con Edison customers installed 4.5 MW of photovoltaic generation.Con Edison, which is working with the City University of New York (CUNY) on the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America Cities program, says it now has 8.5 MW of photovoltaic-generated electricity on its system. Customers completed 203 solar projects last year, up from 134 new installations a year earlier.Last year, the utility shortened its approval process for residential systems under 25 kW and created a website where customers can submit their applications in an effort to streamline installations, notes Robert Schimmenti, Con Edison's vice president for engineering and planning.CUNY and Con Edison plan to launch an interactive solar map later this year, adds Tria Case, university director of sustainability at CUNY and lead implementer of the NYC Solar America City plan. The map will be accessible to the public and is designed to help planners implement additional solar projects in New York.
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