This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 15, 2010

DOE Closes $400 Million Loan Guarantee for Thin-Film Solar Manufacturing

DOE announced on December 14 that a $400 million loan guarantee has been finalized for Abound Solar Manufacturing, LLC to manufacture state-of-the-art thin-film solar panels. The Abound Solar project represents the fifth America Recovery and Reinvestment Act project to close to date. The project, which includes facilities in Longmont, Colorado, and Tipton, Indiana, will use new manufacturing technology for cadmium-telluride panels that has never been deployed commercially. At full capacity, the project will be capable of producing solar panels with 840 megawatts of capacity each year. The company estimates the project will create 1,200 new jobs for ongoing manufacturing and operations—including 200 in Colorado and 1,000 in Indiana.

The facility will produce photovoltaic panels using an innovative process in which thin films of cadmium-telluride are deposited onto glass panels. The company said it believes the technology offers numerous improvements over existing manufacturing methods and reduces overall production costs. Production and installation of these panels produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than crystalline silicon panels.

DOE, through its Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $16.5 billion to support clean energy projects. Together, the 16 projects represent more than 37 million megawatt-hours of capacity, enough clean energy to power more than 3.3 million homes. See the DOE press release and Loan Programs Office Web site for more information.