California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized a US $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc., which manufactures cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels. The funding will finance construction of the first phase of the company’s new manufacturing facility.
The guaranteed loan, expected to provide debt financing for approximately 73% of the project costs, will allow Solyndra to initiate construction of a solar panel fabrication facility in California. Once completed, the plant is expected to have an annual manufacturing capacity of 500 megawatts per year.
Over its lifetime, the first phase of the facility could manufacture up to 7 gigawatts of solar panels, which can generate electricity equivalent to three or four coal fired power plants. Solyndra estimates the new plant will initially create 3,000 construction jobs, and lead to as many as 1,000 jobs once the facility opens.
“This announcement today is part of the unprecedented investment this Administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the Recovery Act is all about,” Vice President Biden said. “By investing in the infrastructure and technology of the future, we are not only creating jobs today, but laying the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st-century economy.”
Solyndra is the first recipient of a loan guarantee under the Recovery Act and Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, the loan guarantee issued to Solyndra is the first issued by DOE since the 1980s.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch said the award is another sign that the renewable energy industry is ready to lead the country in job creation and manufacturing.
“Today, Solyndra showed Secretary Chu and Governor Schwarzenegger why a policy investment in the solar industry is one of the best values for creating American jobs. The Department of Energy loan guarantee will allow Solyndra to build a manufacturing plant that will create 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 long-term jobs. The loan guarantee will go a long way to replacing jobs lost from the upcoming closure of the local Toyota auto plant,” Resch said. “This is another example of how the solar industry is emerging as an economic engine and stepping up to the plate to fill the job void left by traditional manufacturing sectors.”