Oregon to receive its first thin film solar manufacturing plant

The company says it expects to receive a USD$25 million SELP loan from the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), the largest loan bestowed in the 30-year history of the state energy loan program.

The City of Gresham has also provided a robust incentive package partnering with the solar manufacturing plant, which will employ as many as 200 Oregonians (97 confirmed local employees in the BETC agreement). The company expects to build additional 100 MW lines in Gresham after the first line becomes operational.

Along with an USD$18.75 million Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) from ODOE, a USD$25 million loan from the State of Oregon Energy Loan Program and the USD$64 million in equity funding Solexant has raised to date, the company says it will have adequate funds to bring the nanotechnology-based thin film solar plant to full capacity. The factory will initially be housed in an existing 100,000 to 150,000 square foot facility in Gresham with plans to construct the new manufacturing line next year.

“We are pleased to welcome Solexant to Oregon, North America’s leading solar manufacturing center,” said Governor Kulongoski. “This investment will mean jobs immediately for Oregonians with the promise of more in the future. In addition, this company brings a new technological facet to Oregon’s already booming solar manufacturing base and will help us continue to be a global leader in solar manufacturing.”

“Solexant’s decision to come to Gresham proves that our city is well positioned and competitive, even in this challenging economy,” Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis said. “By building a close relationship with the company throughout the process, we have been able to show them the advantages of bringing major investment and jobs to Gresham.”

Last month, the company announced the USD$41.5M first close of a Series C financing round following the successful completion of a 2 MW pilot line operating at the company’s headquarters in San Jose, California.