02 April 2010
For monocrystalline silicon solar cell and module manufacturer, Suniva, Inc., selection by the U.S. Department of Energy for the Loan Guarantee Program means construction of a new plant and added jobs.
The Loan Guarantee Program is part of the DoE’s Innovative Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Advanced Transmission and Distribution Technologies Solicitation. Upon the completion of the DoE’s due diligence and subject to the successful negotiation of the terms of a loan for approximately $141M, 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 2000 indirect jobs for the Michigan economy according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 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 chief executive officer 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 percent 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.”
Based in Norcross, GA, Suniva manufactures high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and high power solar modules with low-cost techniques to make solar-generated electricity cost-competitive with fossil fuels. Suniva leverages exclusive licenses to critical patents and patent-pending intellectual property developed by Suniva founder and CTO, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, at the Georgia Institute of Technology's University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research, which is funded by the Department of Energy. The company was ranked #2 in The Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Venture-Backed Clean Technology Companies in 2010. Suniva is also the 2010 recipient of the Renewable Energy Exporter of the Year, awarded by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.