U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced a conditional commitment to SoloPower, Inc. for a $197 million loan guarantee to retrofit an existing building and install additional equipment to operate a thin-film solar panel manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, OR.
The SoloPower project is expected to create 500 permanent jobs and 270 construction positions, and produce 400 megawatts of photovoltaic panels annually once at full capacity.
The SoloPower facility will be used to produce high-efficiency PV panels for roof-top applications, designed for efficiency and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
SoloPower uses a manufacturing process that deposits copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) onto rolls of flexible stainless steel materials and transforms them into flexible modules. This approach improves module size and weight, ease of installation, and reduces mounting hardware.
The SoloPower project, along with many other current photovoltaic initiatives, could be a significant contributor in moving toward sustainable renewable energy.