Ex-Im Bank Supports U.S. Renewable-Energy Jobs by Financing Solar-Power Projects in India

Mar 30, 2011, 21:43 ET from Export-Import Bank of the United States

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Solar-energy companies – including a small business – in Washington State and Ohio are benefiting from Ex-Im Bank financing of their exports to customers in India.

Ex-Im Bank has approved two transactions financing solar-energy exports to India that will support more than 100 American jobs at the production facilities of Infinia Corporation in Kennewick, Wash., and First Solar Inc. in Perrysburg, Ohio.

"These are the kinds of cutting-edge, U.S. renewable-energy technology exports that President Obama and Ex-Im Bank have made a priority. Our financing is enabling these innovative companies to realize exciting sales opportunities in key markets and maintain jobs in their communities," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.

Ex-Im Bank is the first international financing institution to approve solar-power projects under India's National Solar Mission and the State of Gujarat's Solar Power Policy.

Ex-Im Bank authorized a $30 million direct loan to the project sponsor, Dalmia Solar Power Ltd., on a limited-recourse project-finance basis. The loan will finance the sale of PowerDish™ – a modular solar electricity system – by a Washington State small business, Infinia Corporation, for a 10-megawatt (MW) solar-thermal project in Rajasthan.

The repayment of the loan is based on the cash flows generated by the sale of PowerDish-generated electricity to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN), the power trading subsidiary of India's National Thermal Power Corp. The Indian government has provided special power price incentives to NVVN to promote the development of 20,000 MW of installed solar power by 2022.

"Ex-Im Bank's support was absolutely essential for providing the long-term financing needed to move this project forward," said Infinia CEO J.D. Sitton. "Infinia is at the forefront of developing technologies here in the United States that outperform traditional solar electricity generation, and we are grateful to have Ex-Im Bank as a partner helping us to grow our American work force."

Infinia's PowerDish produces more electricity, uses less space and costs less money than other solar-power systems by converting concentrated solar energy into electricity. The PowerDish couples Infinia's free-piston Stirling engine with a dish-style solar concentrator to produce three kilowatts of grid-quality AC power. The company was created in 1967 to pioneer new ways to meet customer needs for heating, cooling and electricity. Its customers have included NASA and the Department of Energy. Infinia has approximately 145 employees at it manufacturing facility in Kennewick, Wash.

Ex-Im Bank also authorized a $19 million loan guarantee to PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a long-term fixed-interest rate loan supporting sales of thin-film solar modules by First Solar Inc. to a 15-MW solar power plant in the state of Gujarat.

The loan will be made to the project sponsor, ACME Solar Technology (Gujarat) Pvt. Ltd., on a limited-recourse project-finance basis. The repayment of the loan is based on the cash flows generated by the sale of electricity to the government of Gujarat's power utility company, Gujarat Urja Vikras Nigam Ltd. The government of Gujarat has created special power price incentives to promote the expansion of solar power in the state.

First Solar Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries manufacture and sell solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, and also develop, design, construct, operate and maintain solar PV electricity-generating facilities. Founded in 1999, the company is the world's largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules and has more than 1,200 employees at its facilities in Perrysburg, Ohio.

About Ex-Im Bank:

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

By charging fees and interest on all loan-related transactions, Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining and is able to cover all operation costs and potential losses while also producing revenue. The Bank has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years.

In fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance (including more than $5 billion in authorizations for small businesses), supporting an estimated 230,000 American jobs.

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, the Bank approved $8 billion in total financing authorizations, supporting nearly $9.3 billion in U.S. export sales. These sales will support approximately 66,000 American jobs in communities across the country.

For more information, visit Ex-Im Bank's Web site at www.exim.gov. To receive news and information directly from Ex-Im Bank via e-mail, sign up at http://www.exim.gov/lists/subscribe.cfm.

SOURCE Export-Import Bank of the United States



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