SoloPower to Expand U.S. Manufacturing Capacity to 400 MW

On the back end of a week in which U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing took a big hit, a California company announced plans Friday to significantly increase its thin-film capacity while expanding into Oregon.

San Jose-based SoloPower, which makes flexible thin film solar cells and modules, has received a $197 million Department of Energy loan guarantee that the company says will allow it to produce about 400 megawatts (MW) of modules each year. According to the company’s website, SoloPower moved into its current 20-MW plant in 2008.

SoloPower will expand its existing operation in San Jose, Calif. and build two new facilities in Portland, Ore. The company says the expansion will create 450 permanent positions and 270 construction jobs.

SoloPower recently began expanding its San Jose facility. Construction on the first Portland plant could start as early as September.

Earlier this week, both Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar and Germany’s Solon announced plans to close U.S. manufacturing facilities.

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