Udall, Bennet Announce Boost for Cutting Edge Solar Projects

Abound, Abengoa Receive Recovery Act Support

Washington, D.C. –Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, U.S. Senators for Colorado, announced today that Colorado-based Abound Solar Manufacturing LLC will get a huge boost to move forward a first-of-its-kind solar energy project thanks to a loan guarantee for $400 million funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project, involving facilities in Longmont, Colorado, and Tipton Indiana, will manufacture state-of-the-art thin-film solar panels. This will be the first time this technology is deployed commercially anywhere in the world. 

“Abound Solar is making the kind of advancements in solar energy technology that will enable Colorado – and America – to lead in the clean energy economy,” Senator Udall said.  “This loan guarantee will jumpstart an exciting new technology, create jobs and ultimately help us reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuel.”

“Abound Solar is a great example of a Colorado-based company that is leading the way in the new energy economy, creating jobs and developing technology that will help us tap into renewable, clean energy sources and reduce our dependence on dirtier fuels,” Bennet said. “Securing this loan guarantee will help them move forward with this great project.”

When fully operational, the company will produce millions of solar panels annually.  The panels can be produced at a lower cost than crystalline silicon modules and emit less greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing solar panel manufacturers.  The project’s initial annual production of panels will be able to produce 840 megawatts (MW) of power.  With future panel efficiency improvements, that number could increase up to 1,100 MW. The project is expected to reach full capacity by 2013.

Abengoa Solar, which has its U.S. headquarters in Colorado, received a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to finance the construction and start-up of a concentrating solar power generating facility.  The Solana, Arizona, plant will supply 250 megawatts (MW) of power to the electrical grid using parabolic trough solar collectors and an innovative six-hour thermal energy storage system—the first of its kind in the country.