The Department of Energy on Friday finalized a $197 million loan guarantee to SoloPower Inc. for the construction and operation of thin-film solar module manufacturing facilities at sites in Portland, Oregon, and at an existing site in San Jose, California.

The facilities are expected to produce more than 400 MW of flexible photovoltaic modules annually. “The SoloPower Project uses innovative manufacturing technology to produce low-cost, high efficiency photovoltaic cells with copper, indium, gallium and (di) selenide,” the DOE said. The CIGS cells are then packaged into unique, flexible, lightweight solar modules that, when deployed, result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the modules require less hardware and are easier to install than traditional solar panels.

SoloPower recently began making improvements to its existing facility in San Jose to accommodate the capacity expansion. Construction on the first high-volume facility in Portland is anticipated to start next month.

Sources: POWERnews, DOE, SoloPower