SoloPower receives DOE loan guarantee for thin film expansion

The announcement comes following the news in January that the company was seeking funding to establish a 300 (MW) thin film PV module manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, which would create up to 500 new jobs. However, it has now said the facility, when completed and running at full capacity, is expected to produce approximately 400 MW of modules annually.

Retrofit of the existing building is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year, and around 270 construction jobs will reportedly be created to build the plant.

Overall, SoloPower said around USD$340 million would be invested in the project. In terms of funding, in addition to the DOE loan guarantee, it has also applied for a Business Energy Tax Credit of $20 million from the State of Oregon. Furthermore, the Small Scale Energy Loan Program Advisory Committee has recommended approval to the Oregon Department of Energy for a $20 million loan.

"This announcement is the latest confirmation that when it comes to energy policy, Oregon is on the right side of history," commented U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. "A loan guarantee to help companies such as SoloPower get important projects off the ground is the right approach that will keep Oregon where it belongs – at the forefront of technology."

SoloPower CEO Tim Harris added: "This backing allows us to rapidly ramp up our production and to promote the spread of clean, distributed solar power to the rooftops and on the ground, while providing hundreds of quality manufacturing jobs using some of the most advanced technology in the world."