For Immediate Release: September 8, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Energy Commission Approves $10.5 million in
Loans for Solar Cell Manufacturers
California Companies Will Add More Than 430 Jobs

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today approved three loans totaling more than $10.5 million for California-based manufacturers of solar products. The low interest loans are part of the state's Clean Energy Business Financing Program (CEBFP) that is providing approximately $30 million in federal stimulus money to eligible businesses that create or retain clean energy manufacturing jobs in California.

"California is investing funds from the federal America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to rebuild our shrinking manufacturing sector, helping it retool for a new, more robust, and competitive green economy that can put Californians back to work," said Karen Douglas, Energy Commission Chairman. "In this continuing economic downturn, the Clean Energy Business Financing Program provides money to local green companies unable to access capital from lenders and banks."

Through the program, loans of $50,000 to $5 million were available at 2.75 percent interest to companies 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.

These companies were three of 44 submitted to the CEBFP and evaluated on job creation/retention, energy saved, leveraged financing, and an economic adjustment for manufacturing job loss. After review by the Energy Commission the applications were then sent to the financial development corporations (FDCs) through the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency (BTH) where they underwent rigorous business credit analysis. CEBFP awardees that scored high in these categories were eligible for funding depending on CEBFP loan capacity available. The proposed loan awards were announced for nine companies including Stion Corporation, Energy Innovations, Inc and Soliant.

Here is a summary of the approved loans to the three California-based photovoltaic system producers:

The Stion Corporation will receive a $5 million loan to expand the manufacturing capacity of high efficiency, thin film solar modules at its San Jose factory. Total cost of the project is approximately $22.2 million, with the company providing the remainder of the financing not supplied by the Energy Commission's loan. By December 2011, the improvements should increase the annual capacity of the photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant by 140 megawatts a year and add or retain 73 full-time equivalent jobs. The estimated annual production of thin film solar cells at the facility will offset nearly 63,500 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

Energy Innovations, Inc. will use a CEBFP loan of $3,493,797 to purchase equipment for its new factory and headquarters in Poway, CA. The manufacturing operation builds highly concentrated photovoltaic (HCPV) systems for commercial and industrial use and will have an annual capacity of 60 megawatts when completed at the end of 2011. The project will create or retain an estimated 240 full-time equivalent jobs. The yearly production of solar systems at the facility is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 35,400 tons of CO2 a year. The loan provides roughly half of the $7,038,601 cost of the project, with Energy Innovations providing the rest through leveraged financing.

Soliant Energy, Inc. will purchase equipment for its concentrated solar photovoltaic solar panel factory in San Bernardino with its CEBFP loan of $2,089,711. The factory will have a capacity of 40 megawatts annually and is expected to be finished as early as October 2011. The project will create or retain an estimated 118 full-time equivalent jobs. The total project cost is nearly $9 million; Soliant Energy, Inc. will provide the amount above the Energy Commission's loan. The estimated annual production of concentrated rooftop solar systems at the facility will offset more than 23,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

Once the new manufacturing equipment is installed, all three of the solar power systems companies will repay the CEBFP loan within seven years.

Calisolar, a Silicon Valley solar cell manufacturing facility, was awarded a $5 million CEBFP loan at the August 25 Business Meeting.

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

For information about:

Stion Corporation
Frank Yang Sr. Director of Business Development Stion
(408) 284-7205 fyang@stion.com

Energy Innovations, Inc.
Joe Budano
(858) 375-7400 jbudano@energyinnovations.com

Soliant Energy, Inc.
Michael Deck
(626) 239-3433 Michael.deck@soliantenergy.com

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