Solyndra, the Fremont based company that makes cylindrical thin film solar panels and has been engaged in a bit of a war of words with Nanosolar (see Thin Film Smackdown!), has just been awarded a Department of Energy $535 million loan guarantee. Solyndra plans to use the money to build a new plant in Fremont, California and expand their current plant. Since Solyndra has over $1.5 billion in announced contracts, they really need to boost their production if they’re going to be able to meet their contracts. The loan guarantee is the first ever loan to come out of a program that was created by Congress in 2005, but the program was slowed down both by the extended approval process required by the DoE and also by the need to wait for congressional appropriations. The funds are now coming from the Obama stimulus package.
And in a related story from Greentech Media, Solyndra is also saying that they’ve been able to boost the power output of each of their solar panels from 157 watts to “close to 200 watts”. That’s about a 20-25% increase depending on exactly what “close to 200” means.