Solyndra offered first-ever DOE loan

Proceeds of the $535 million loan, the first guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, will be used to expand the company’s solar panel manufacturing capacity in California.

Solyndra Inc. is the first company to receive an offer for a US Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The company, which manufactures cylindrical solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, will use the proceeds of a US $535 million loan from the US Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity in California.

“The leadership and actions of President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and the US Congress were instrumental in concluding this offer for a loan guarantee,” said Solyndra founder/CEO Chris Gronet, in a statement. “The DOE Loan Guarantee Program funding will enable Solyndra to achieve the economies of scale needed to deliver solar electricity at prices that are competitive with utility rates. This expansion is really about creating new jobs while meaningfully impacting global warming.”

The guaranteed loan, expected to provide debt financing for approximately 73% of the project costs, will allow Solyndra to initiate construction of a second solar panel fabrication facility (Fab 2) in California. When completed, Fab 2 is slated to have an annual manufacturing capacity of 500MW/ year, and over its project lifetime produce solar panels sufficient to generate up to 15GW of clean, renewable electricity — enough to avoid 300 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Construction of the complex will employ ~3000 people, and its operation will create over 1000 jobs, according to the company. The transaction is still pending paperwork and Solyndra meeting loan requirements.

Designed specifically for commercial, industrial and institutional rooftops, Solyndra’s proprietary photovoltaic (PV) panels are fully certified for US and international use and have been commercially shipping since July 2008. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Solyndra in connection with this loan guarantee application.

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