WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $400 million conditional loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing for the assembly of state-of-the-art thin-film, cadmium-telluride solar panels. With this project, this new manufacturing technology will be commercially deployed for the first time ever, said DOE. The project will include facilities in Longmont, Colo., and Tipton, Ind. The company anticipates the project will create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction, as well as 1,500 permanent jobs. In Indiana, Abound will occupy a new, unused factory originally constructed for a Chrysler auto parts supplier.

Using proprietary manufacturing technology developed jointly by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado State University, and the National Science Foundation, Abound will produce solar panels using an innovative process in which thin films of cadmium-telluride are deposited onto glass panels. The technology is said to reduce overall product costs while yielding enhanced film quality and device efficiency and stability. When the facilities reach their expected full capacity in 2013, the company will be able to produce millions of solar panels annually for less than crystalline silicon modules cost. Upon completion, the facilities will be able to manufacture enough panels each year to support up to 840 megawatts of new solar power.

Publication date:07/26/2010