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Published: Friday, 7/1/2011

U.S. gives First Solar $4.5B loan guarantees


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded First Solar Inc., which has a solar panel-making plant in Perrysburg Township, conditional loan guarantees worth $4.5 billion for three of its biggest power plants in California.

Investors had been anxiously awaiting news of the loan guarantees, which will sharply lower the cost of building the plants. The facilities will have a total capacity of about 1,330 megawatts, 30 percent more than a large nuclear power reactor.

First Solar, which makes the lowest-cost photovoltaic panels in the industry, has entered the power plant building business in recent years as a means to help create a pipeline of demand for its products.

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