SunPower opens manufacturing facility solar plant funding

The 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch was offered a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee of up to $1.187 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

NRG Solar, a unit of NRG Energy, will assume all ownership and financing for the project, which is subject to certain conditions. SunPower will design, construct and initially operate and maintain the plant.

The announcement came as SunPower and partner Flextronics opened a 75 MW solar panel manufacturing facility in California. The plant will produce panels for several solar projects, including the California Valley Solar Ranch.

Construction is expected to start on the solar farm in the second half of 2011, subject to permitting and financing. A portion of the plant is expected to come online by the end of 2011 with the rest beginning operations in 2012 and 2013.

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