New solar plant opens in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

New solar plant opens in Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A brand new solar power company has flipped the switch on a facility in Portland.

SoloPower opened its doors on North Marine Drive on Thursday. The company manufactures low-cost, flexible solar panels. Once it's completed, the plant will produce 400 megawatts of solar panels annually and put about 400 people to work.

SoloPower is one of the last remaining solar companies in the Department of Energy's loan program. Up to $197 million in federal funds will help the business get on its feet.

The program has become a hot topic this election season. Another solar company called Solyndra received a similar loan back in 2009, but has since gone bankrupt. Republicans believe the government shouldn't fund risky business.

SoloPower must have its first production line up and running before it can begin to draw down funds from the loan. The CEO expects that to happen later this year or early next year.

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