Solyndra, the Solar Generator Manufacturer

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 25 May, 2010 at

Solyndra is a Bay Area company that is in the news for manufacturing solar power modules. The Department of Energyis guaranteeing a $535 million loan to support its solar power technology. According to the Department of Energy, this is the first project that the federal government is backing under the Department of Energy loan guarantee program. As with the other projects, this requires an equity investment from the company itself. The federal government is providing 73% of the funds so the company has to provide the other 27%, which means that Solyndra has to put up $198 million, a much larger initial investment than most of the renewable energy projects that the government supports. According to the Department of Energy, the next two companies receiving loans under the loan guarantee program are Beacon and Nordic.

This large project is receiving great amounts of government attention. Senator Boxer supports this project since it will bring jobs to Fremont as well as potentially providing a great deal of power from the solar panels the plant manufactures over its lifetime. Senator Boxer has toured the plant and photos are available on her website.
Senator Boxer’s website states that the plant may provide up to 15 GW of power during its lifetime and the White House blog claims up to 7 GW during the first phase of construction, which is what the loan is designed to finance. Later phases of construction will be supported by the sales of the solar panels. President Obama scheduled a May 26 visit to tour the Solyndra facility in Fremont.

Solyndra also has operations in Italy and is installing solar panels throughout Europe. Solyndra and the Italian company Enerqos are setting up solar panels on houses in Italy and have installed these generators as part of a project in Villa Dossola. The major technological advantage of Solyndra’s photovoltaic cells is that their cylindrical design allows them to capture solar energy from any angle, allowing efficiency improvements. The solar cell design provides easy installation, and according to Enerqos in the press release, better resistance to wind damage and low weight. The company is installing these solar cells on roofs so these traits are important.

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