SoloPower, a San Jose, California-based manufacturer of flexible thin film solar cells and modules, announced that it has received a $197 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office. The guarantee will support the construction and operation of three facilities that are expected to produce approximately 400MW of state-of-the art thin film photovoltaic modules annually. In addition to expanding its existing operation in San Jose, California, SoloPower will construct and operate two new facilities in Portland, Oregon. Together, these facilities will provide 450 permanent jobs, 270 construction jobs and several hundred additional supply chain jobs.
"SoloPower is bringing exactly the kind of new jobs Oregon needs,” said Governor John Kitzhaber. “Working with SoloPower to bring their manufacturing headquarters to Portland, we are continuing on the path of supporting a strong clean technology manufacturing base in Oregon.”
SoloPower uses innovative manufacturing technology to produce low-cost, high efficiency copper, indium, gallium and (di) selenide (CIGS) based photovoltaic cells. The CIGS cells are then packaged into unique, flexible, lightweight solar modules. The modules require less balance-of-system hardware and are easier to install than traditional solar panels.
“This loan guarantee from the DOE is the kind of job creating investment this country needs,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “Companies that push the boundaries of known technology will reinvigorate America’s economy and provide much-needed family wage jobs for Oregonians now, and in the future.”
“Solar manufacturing represents one of the best ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and with SoloPower poised to make a massive investment in Oregon’s already impressive alternative energy technology industry, it is clearer than ever that Oregon continues to be a ‘go-to’ state for innovation,” the Senator added.
SoloPower recently began making improvements to its existing facility in San Jose, California to accommodate the capacity expansion. Construction on the first high-volume facility in Portland, Oregon is anticipated to start next month.