Suniva, a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, announced on Thursday that it has been selected for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program under the DOE’s Innovative Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Advanced Transmission and Distribution Technologies Solicitation.
The DOE is providing competitive loans and state/local funding opportunities for energy-related projects. The funding is authorized through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Upon the completion of the DOE’s due diligence and subject to the successful negotiation of the terms of a loan for approximately $141 million, Suniva plans to start the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Saginaw County, Michigan.
Building such a manufacturing plant could create approximately 500 direct jobs at Suniva, while creating an additional 2,000 indirect jobs for the Michigan economy according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Suniva currently employs a diverse workforce—approximately a quarter of its employees are military veterans and many others were hired from shuttered automotive plants.
"The DOE’s acceptance of Suniva into the Loan Guarantee Program is very timely and supports the shared vision of President Obama and Suniva in significantly increasing the level of exports over the next five years," said John Baumstark, chairman and CEO of Suniva. "The loan guarantee is essential to our efforts in building a second manufacturing plant in Michigan as quickly as possible, creating new cleantech jobs for Americans and supporting the economy by substantially increasing the number of solar cells and modules available for export."
The loan guarantee will enable Suniva to more than triple exports over the next five years. Last year, Suniva exported more than 90% of its products to Asia and Europe.
"Suniva exemplifies the innovative force behind the development of America’s leading-edge green technology, and it exports to the global marketplace," said Fred P. Hochberg, Ex-Im Bank’s chairman and president. "Suniva exports products, not jobs. America will lead in exports when its businesses deliver value and innovation, which will also drive job growth."
"The loan guarantee is essential to our efforts in building a second manufacturing plant in Michigan as quickly as possible, creating new clean-tech jobs for Americans and supporting the economy by substantially increasing the number of solar cells and modules available for export," Baumstark told the Saginaw News.
Sources: Suniva, DOE, Saginaw News