By Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

SoloPower Inc. said Thursday that a new plant in Wilsonville, Ore. will ultimately create 500 new jobs.

San Jose-based SoloPower, which makes flexible, thin film solar cells and modules, announced earlier this month that it raised $51.6 million in new venture funding and was seeking another $20 million in an energy loan to build a manufacturing plant in Oregon.

The initial phase of the expansion will be the construction of a 75 MW manufacturing line which will create 170 new jobs. Upon completion, SoloPower said, the facility is expected to have nameplate capacity of 300MW, employ approximately 500 people, and have a total investment of approximately $340 million.

On Thursday the Small Scale Energy Loan Program advisory committee recommended approval to the Oregon Department of Energy for a $20 million loan. The company has also applied for a Business Energy Tax Credit of $20 million from the State of Oregon.

"Over the past year, SoloPower has considered several alternative sites. Oregon is an exceptional location for our long-term growth," stated SoloPower CEO Tim Harris."SoloPower greatly appreciates the partnerships it has formed with the State of Oregon, the Oregon Department of Energy, Clackamas County and the City of Wilsonville. Oregon's business friendly environment, excellent support programs, and highly skilled work force made locating our new manufacturing facility in Oregon an easy decision."

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