First Solar Won’t Meet Deadline for $1.9 Billion DOE Loan

First Solar announced Thursday it would not meet the Sept. 30 deadline requirement to receive the $1.9 billion Department of Energy loan it received to build a 550-megawatt solar project in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.

The thin-film PV Topaz Solar Farm project received a conditional loan in late June, but the company said in a press release that there was insufficient time to meet all requirements. The company said it is in “advanced talks regarding the sale and financing of the project with potential buyers utilizing a different transaction structure that does not require a DOE loan guarantee.”

The Topaz loan was the largest of three conditional loans received by First Solar on June 30, totaling $4.5 billion. The company said the 230-MW Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 project and the 550-MW Desert Sunlight project will continue with the DOE process.

The loan is the largest solar project to date approved by the Department of Energy program that is currently the focus of Congressional hearings following the Solyndra bankruptcy.

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