Calisolar is the recipient of the first loan approved by the California Energy Commission as part of the Clean Energy Business Financing Program. The Sunnyvale, CA-based UMG solar cell manufacturer, one of seven companies announced as proposed awardees in July, will receive a $5 million loan to buy equipment to expand production. The CEBFP uses American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to provide up to $30.6 million in 2.75% low-interest loans to private businesses that improve or expand their energy efficiency or renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the state.
Using these stimulus and private funds, Calisolar will expand its cell-making production capacity from 60MW to 75MW by December. The company is providing $20,716,00 in leveraged financing for the project’s total $25,716,002 cost. The loan will be repaid in 84 monthly payments.
Calisolar’s application was one of 44 submitted to the CEBFP and evaluated on job creation/retention, energy saved, leveraged financing, and an economic adjustment for manufacturing job loss. After review by the Energy Commission, the applications were then sent to the financial development corporations through the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, where they underwent rigorous business credit analysis.
Awardees that scored high in these categories were eligible for funding, depending on CEBFP loan capacity available. The other companies named in addition to top-scoring Calisolar are all solar PV firms: Stion, SolarPower Inc., Energy Innovations, SunPower, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, and Soliant Energy.
The California Energy Commission received $226 million under the State Energy Program to implement public and private sector programs. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Program is providing up to $30.6 million in ARRA funds and is leveraging public and private funds and provides opportunities to help business and industry to embrace new technologies and innovative products that build a clean energy economy.