Businesses Embrace Advanced Clean Technology to Keep Jobs in the State
September 16, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after the California Energy Commission approved the final four loans, totaling more than $13.4 million, for the state’s Clean Energy Business Financing Program (CEBFP) for California-based manufacturers of solar products. These four low interest loans awarded to Morgan Solar, Inc; Solar Power, Inc; Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. and the Solaria Corporation complete the state’s CEBFP. Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds, this program has provided a total of almost $29 million in federal stimulus money to eligible businesses and has retained or created about 1,588 clean energy manufacturing jobs in California.
“California’s leadership in clean energy technology is supported by these manufacturers who are investing millions to develop and produce advanced energy products,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “In these challenging fiscal times, access to capital from this program is essential to helping California’s manufacturers retool for a competitive green economy. I commend these innovative companies for the work they are doing in advancing clean energy technology and creating jobs for Californians.”
When combined with the four loans previously approved by the Energy Commission, today’s four loan awards total almost $29 million dollars and are leveraging an additional $84.9 million in private investment. The eight companies will have the ability to manufacture solar collectors with the capacity to generate about 506 megawatts of electricity and reduce CO2 emissions by 282,000 tons annually.
Through this program, the Energy Commission made available loans of $50,000 to $5 million at 2.75 percent interest rate to eligible manufacturers producing energy efficiency or renewable energy products, components, systems, and technologies. Loan funds were also available for projects producing biomethane gas from biomass that is direct-injected into natural gas transmission lines. The CEBFP loans may only be used to purchase and install equipment used in the manufacturing process.
Below is a summary of the four loans approved today for California-based photovoltaic system producers:
Solar Power, Inc. will receive a $5,000,000 loan to purchase equipment including cell sorters and stringing machines to produce photovoltaic solar panels at a manufacturing facility being built near Sacramento. The project in McClellan, CA will have a production capacity of 50 megawatts per year and is expected to be completed in January 2011. The project will create and/or retain an estimated 698 full-time jobs. The estimated annual production of solar panels at the facility will create almost 73 million kilowatt/hours (kWh) of electricity each year and offset more than 25,000 tons of CO2 annually. In addition to the $5 million loan approved today, the Roseville-based solar manufacturer is providing an estimated $19.9 million in leveraged funds to build the facility.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. will use its $4,356,500 loan to purchase equipment such as glass washers and vacuum laminators to increase the manufacturing capacity of its photovoltaic solar module facility in Irvine, CA. The project will expand the plant’s PV capacity to 45 megawatts annually and should be completed by March 2011. The project will create and/or retain an estimated 94 full-time equivalent jobs at a cost of $46,346 of federal funds per job. The estimated annual production of solar modules from the facility will generate 86 million kWh of electricity and offset nearly 30,000 tons of CO2 per year. Quantum will provide an estimated $10.6 million in leveraged funds for the project.
Morgan Solar, Inc. will receive a $3,305,000 loan to purchase equipment that includes assembly and injection molding machines to establish a concentrated photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing facility in Chula Vista, CA. Morgan Solar is expanding their existing Canadian facility to California. The facility will have an annual capacity of 10 megawatts and should be operational by November 2011. The project will create and/or retain an estimated 105 full-time jobs. The estimated annual production of solar panels from the facility will produce nearly 58 million kWh of electricity and offset almost 20,000 tons of CO2 per year. Morgan Solar will provide an estimated $3.3 million in leveraged funds.
The Solaria Corporation will receive a $753,992 loan to purchase such equipment as glass scanners and module testers for its PV solar panel manufacturing facility. The new equipment should be operation in the Fall 2010 and will increase the capacity of the Fremont, CA facility to 6 megawatts annually. The project will create and/or retain an estimated 79 full-time jobs. The estimated annual production of solar panels from the facility will generate 11.3 million kWh and offset nearly 4,000 tons of CO2 per year. The Solaria Corporation will provide an estimated $2.8 million in leveraged funds for the expansion project.
Once the new manufacturing equipment is installed, each of the solar power companies will repay the CEBFP loan within seven years.
Morgan Solar, Inc; Solar Power, Inc; Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. and the Solaria Corporation were four of the companies from the original 44 applicants that submitted to the CEBFP and evaluated on job creation/retention, energy saved, leveraged financing, and an economic adjustment factor for manufacturing job loss. After review by the Energy Commission, the eligible applications were sent to financial development corporations (FDCs) through the state’s Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency (BTH), where they underwent rigorous financial business credit analysis. CEBFP awardees that scored high in these categories were eligible for funding depending on the amount of funding available.
The previous four loans approved by the Energy Commission are: Calisolar, a Silicon Valley solar cell manufacturing facility, was awarded a $5 million CEBFP loan at the August 25 Business Meeting. On September 8, the Energy Commission approved a $5 million loan to thin film solar module-manufacturer the Stion Corporation, based in San Jose; a $3,493,797 loan to Poway-based Energy Innovations, Inc., a manufacturer of highly concentrated photovoltaic systems; and a $2,089,711 loan to Soliant Energy, Inc., a concentrated solar panel maker headquarters in Monrovia.
Details of the CEBFP program are available on the California Energy Commission website at http://energy.ca.gov/recovery/cleanenergy.html and a list of the proposed loans are at http://energy.ca.gov/contracts/recovery.html