California Solar Manufacturers Receive Stimulus Loans

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved three loans totaling more than $10.5 million for California-based manufacturers of solar products. The loans are part of the state's Clean Energy Business Financing Program (CEBFP), which is providing approximately $30 million in federal stimulus money to eligible businesses that create or retain clean energy manufacturing jobs in California.

Through the program, loans of $50,000 to $5 million were available at 2.75% interest to companies producing energy efficiency or renewable energy products, components, systems and technologies.

Stion Corp. will receive a $5 million loan to expand the manufacturing capacity of thin-film solar modules at its San Jose factory. Total cost of the project is approximately $22.2 million, with the company providing the remainder of the financing not supplied by the loan. By December 2011, the improvements should increase the annual capacity of the photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant by 140 MW a year and add or retain 73 full-time equivalent jobs.

Energy Innovations Inc. will use a CEBFP loan of $3,493,797 to purchase equipment for its new factory and headquarters in Poway. The manufacturing operation builds highly concentrated photovoltaic systems for commercial and industrial use and will have an annual capacity of 60 MW when completed at the end of 2011. The project will create or retain an estimated 240 full-time equivalent jobs.

Soliant Energy Inc. will purchase equipment for its concentrated solar photovoltaic solar panel factory in San Bernardino with its CEBFP loan of $2,089,711. The factory will have a capacity of 40 MW annually and is expected to be finished as early as October 2011. The project will create or retain an estimated 118 full-time equivalent jobs.

Once the new manufacturing equipment is installed, all three of the solar power systems companies are required to repay the CEBFP loan within seven years.

SOURCE: California Energy Commission

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