Los Angeles, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has launched its new “Solar Express” product that the banks said will provide streamlined financing for U.S. exports to small solar-energy projects that could be approved in as few as 60 days. The details were announced by Bank officials during Earth Day visits to SolarWorld and Clipper Windpower in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
“Smaller-scale solar projects traditionally have been at a disadvantage in obtaining project financing because of the high cost of advisory services associated with them. Through our new Solar Express product, Ex-Im Bank can help U.S. solar-industry exporters be more competitive and increase international sales,” said Fred P. Hochberg, Ex-Im Bank’s chairman and president.
According to Ex-Im Bank, under the Solar Express program, both direct loans and guarantees are available. For expedited treatment, the Ex-Im Bank tranche will be the only debt financing. Local cost financing of up to 30% of the net U.S. export contract is available and there is a single take-out disbursement after completion of the project.
Ex-Im Bank said that it could consider precompletion funding for widely used technologies with an experienced operator. Financing of up to 18 years is available, depending upon the project’s economics and the transaction must comply with Ex-Im Bank policies and procedures as required.
Export sales using Solar Express will enable the Bank to consider project financing for small solar-power producers seeking loans of US $3 million to $10 million. The Bank’s Environmental Exports Program offers enhancements for eligible U.S. exports such as greater risk protection, capitalization of interest during construction and financing of local costs up to 30 percent of the U.S. contract price.
Repayment terms of up to 18 years are available for U.S. exports to renewable-energy and water-related projects. In fiscal 2009, Ex-Im Bank authorized $363 million to support an estimated $640 million of U.S. exports of environmentally beneficial goods and services.