Cell and module manufacturer Suniva has been guaranteed a 10-year loan of US$780,000 by the US Export-Import Bank for a rooftop solar power project in Mexico.
In September 2012, Suniva announced its plans to expand sales operations to cover the Americas. The company is now taking full advantage of medium-term buyer financing, which is available to support smaller-scale renewable-energy projects in Mexico.
Suniva crystalline silicon PV solar cells and modules will be exported from its facility in Norcross, Georgia, to supply construction company Grupo Metal Intra’s (GMI) main production plant in the city of Queretaro with a 500kW rooftop installation. Suniva said this project would be one of the largest rooftop solar energy facilities in Mexico.
The solar project is expected to generate 50% of GMI's electricity needs and reduce GMI's overall energy costs by at least 15% annually. GMI estimates that the energy savings will repay the investment in the solar panels in about seven years, while reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 677 tons per year.
GMI subsidiary, Intragreen Tecnologia Sustenable, will integrate the project and act as the provider of local services, including the project's installation and connection to the grid. Ex-Im Bank's medium-term guarantee will also support approximately US$130,000 of related local costs.
Since 2007, Suniva has used Ex-Im Bank's buyer financing and working capital guarantees to support its exports to global markets that include Europe, India, Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Ex-Im's financing has helped to sustain 190 jobs at Suniva's manufacturing facility in Norcross.
“Suniva is very proud to partner with a leading and visionary organization like GMI/Intragreen in Mexico,” said Suniva Chairman and CEO John Baumstark. “It is most fitting that the first major export and installation of our modules in Mexico is utilizing a guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import Bank with which we have a longstanding and valuable relationship.”
In 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorised US$614.5 million in financing to support over US$1.18 billion of US exports of environmentally beneficial goods and services. Nearly 60% of these authorizations are for renewable-energy exports.
At the beginning of January, utility company Comision Federal de Electricidad completed Mexico’s largest PV installation, the 5MW Cerro Prieto solar project.