In the first of such loans to be issued under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Solyndra, Inc. has been granted a loan guarantee of $535 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The company will wisely put the funding into expansion, with plans to construct a second facility (Fab 2) in California. The loan is said to account for approximately 73% of the project’s cost.
The 500MW facility is intended to produce sufficient solar panels to generate up to 15GW of energy on completion. Following the conclusion of the loan agreement between Solyndra and DOE, the planned facility is expected to create approximately 3,000 jobs, of which the facility’s operation will account for over 1,000. The company anticipates several hundred more jobs will be created in the U.S. to allow for the installation of the company’s PV systems.
According to a report by Barclays Capital Solar Daily, the acquisition of the loan by Solyndra was not related to the passing of the U.S. Stimulus Bill earlier this year.
“Although a headline positive, this loan guarantee was part of the 2006 solicitations (first round of DOE program) and is not part of the recently announced DOE stimulus program.
The third round of DOE program (designed as part of the current stimulus package), which could potentially improve demand is unlikely to begin until June at the earliest. We expect the first decisions for the third round to be made by September (in best case scenario) or December (in a more realistic scenario).”
Solyndra currently has more than $1.5 billion in orders on entering its second year of commercial shipments to customers in Europe and the U.S.