Press Releases

Senator Feinstein Applauds U.S. Energy Department’s Decision to Provide $535 Million Energy Loan Guarantee to California-Based Solar Company, Solyndra

- Solar manufacturing facility is expected to generate up to 3,000 clean energy jobs in Fremont, CA -

San Francisco, CA – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to finalize a $535 million loan guarantee to a California-based solar company, Solyndra. The Department of Energy announced the initial selection of Solyndra as a conditional loan guarantee recipient in March and formalized the decision today at a ground-breaking ceremony in Fremont, California.

“This is a major milestone for California’s solar industry,” Senator Feinstein said. “This federal loan guarantee of $535 million will enable Solyndra to secure affordable financing – at a time when credit is extremely tight – in order to build and operate a commercial-scale facility to manufacture the next generation of rooftop solar systems.  The operation is expected to generate at least 3,000 clean energy jobs in an area whose largest employer – NUMMI – may soon shut down. And it will ultimately help make it more affordable for more Americans to power their homes and buildings through solar energy.  So it’s a win-win for the economy and the environment.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has pledged that his department will act as an engine for innovation – and this loan guarantee program is an important part of that effort. So, I’d like to extend my thanks to Secretary Chu for his leadership.”

Solyndra is building the next generation of rooftop systems to collect and convert solar energy, and is expected to employee up to 3,000 workers in clean energy jobs.  The company’s proprietary design transforms cylindrical glass tubes into a low-cost and efficient solar photovoltaic rooftop system.  The new plant is expected to produce enough panels to generate 15 gigawatts of renewable energy, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 300 million metric tons.

The company was selected by the Department of Energy through a competitive bidding process in which at least 60 companies applied., Before the Department of Energy could finalize the loan guarantee, Solyndra was required to secure 20 percent of the project's loan financing from other sources.

The federal loan guarantee program was designed to support innovative technologies and was established by Congress in Title 17 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Congress expanded this program in the stimulus bill, or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in order to infuse additional credit into the burgeoning U.S. clean energy economy. 

Solyndra will be the first-ever recipient of the Title 17 energy loan guarantee program.