SoloPower proposes 500 Oregon jobs
By Erik Siemers, Business Journal Staff Writer
Business Journal Staff Writer
California solar energy company SoloPower Inc. is proposing a $56 million manufacturing plant in Wilsonville that within five years could employ 500 people, according to a document submitted by SoloPower to the Oregon Department of Energy.
The San Jose-based company, a developer of thin-film solar energy products, is applying for a $20 million loan from Oregon’s State Energy Loan Program to finance the new plant.
So far company officials have declined to provide any further details.
A spokesman for SoloPower on Wednesday said the company would withhold making any statements until its loan comes up for review during a public meeting before the State Energy Loan Program Advisory Committee on Jan. 13.
But according to a redacted copy of the company’s Dec. 29th loan application, the proposed plant would initially create 205 jobs. That’s broken down to include 140 direct and indirect labor jobs , 35 in research and development, and 30 plant-support positions.
At first the plant would operate a single production line with a capacity of 75 megawatts that, with production efficiencies, could eventually grow to achieve 100 MW of production capacity.
SoloPower projects future expansions of up to two to four additional lines, each capable of 100 megawatts of production capacity.
Within five years, SoloPower, which now employs 127 at its San Jose headquarters, projects its Oregon work force would grow to about 500, according to the loan documents.
In its application, SoloPower recommended terms for the loan that include two $10 million notes each at 8.5 percent interest, the second of which includes a 70 percent loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The company closed on $51 million in private capital this week according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. SoloPower is also reported to be seeking a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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