Solyndra using Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees system to support commercial rooftop projects

Last week during Intersolar Europe 2011, Solyndra announced the completion of the largest commercial rooftop to date that has used its cylindrical-CIGS modules. The 3MW project was completed by solar integrator U|S|E AG, a Solyndra Platinum Solution Provider based in Reutlingen, Germany, with its Belgium subsidiary Enerdeal for Delhaize, an international supermarket chain at one of its distribution centres in Zellik, Belguim.
 
The Zellik installation consists of more than 17,000 Solyndra solar modules covering 34,000 square meters of roof space and generates an annual yield of approximately 2,400 MWh, enough to power more than 700 households. U|S|E also added a white Sure-Weld thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof membrane from Carlisle SynTec to reflect light back onto the modules.
 
However, the project is also noteworthy for the finance structures used. For the first time, Solyndra used the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to facilitate the sale of its modules. Ex-Im Bank is guaranteeing an 18-year €7.7 million loan (U.S. $10.3 million) under its Renewable Express process that was provided by KBC Bank NV in Belgium, which meant the project financing approval was arranged in only 41 days from the receipt of the completed application to approval.
 
"This project benefited from the fast due-diligence process made possible by Ex-Im's Renewable Express program, and it is just the first of several of such projects that we anticipate this year," said John Scott, Solyndra's vice president of Global Project Finance and Business Development. "For U.S. companies, Ex-Im Bank support is a valuable advantage that levels the playing field with other global financing incentives."
 
Solyndra has recently expanded it product portfolio to develop more market opportunities outside the flat rooftop segment, which was Solyndra’s initial target market. 
 
The thin-film manufacturer has developed a unique greenhouse shading system for an untapped but potentially huge agricultural market as well as metal roofs market, via a new non-penetrating mounting system.  
 
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