Solexant has selected Gresham, Oregon, as the site for its new manufacturing plant for next-generation nanocrystal CdTe thin-film solar cells. The plant, which is expected to cover approximately 100,000 square feet, will initially employ around 100 workers and is expected to produce 100MW of modules. At full production, Solexant hopes to increase the plant’s workforce to 170. Long-term, the company aims to expand the facility to manufacture panels capable of generating 1000MW, reports Oregon Live.
The Gresham council is set to vote on July 20 on a loan guarantee that would have Gresham backstopping US$13 million out of a US$25 million loan that Solexant intends to take from the Oregon Department of Energy. Solexant has been pre-certified for an Oregon energy tax credit of US$18.75 million and has applied for a US$25 million loan from the Oregon Department of Energy’s small-scale energy loan program. The US$25 million is to be disbursed in two installments of US$6 million each and a third of US$13 million. This is the largest SELP loan granted to date, which is the reason the DOE has required Gresham to guarantee the final US$13 million payment.
Solexant will pay Gresham a US$30,000 fee when their agreement is signed and a further US$30,000 when the third installment of the loan is disbursed. The second fee can be waived if Solexant purchases property in Gresham for their expansion to 1000MW prior to the money being disbursed.
If Solexant does not meet agreed-upon profitability and production levels, the company will have to pay out fees of US$100,000 a year during the 10-year payback period of the third installment. The agreement also provides for additional fee payments to Gresham if the company expands elsewhere before reaching the 1000MW production level.