Stimulus boost will create solar jobs

Solyndra's solar panels use a photovoltaic copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) compound around a series of tubes until they resemble a row of black, fluorescent lights. Each module is rounded to catch the maximum amount of light from any direction, so the panels don't need to be angled in any way and secured like traditional PV panels.

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Steve Chiotakis: A California solar company will get a huge boost from the government today. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce more than half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees. From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, here's Sam Eaton.


Sam Eaton: Fremont, California-based Solyndra has long been the darling of venture capital investors. But now it's poised to become the poster child for creating green jobs with federal stimulus funds.

Solyndra makes thin film solar panels for commercial rooftops. The tube-shaped panels are cheaper than conventional photovoltaics. The company plans to use the stimulus funds to build a new factory.

That project is expected to create as many as 3,000 construction jobs and another thousand long-term employees. It's welcome news in a town poised to lose nearly 5,000 jobs when a jointly operated GM and Toyota plant shuts down next year.

The solar company's loan guarantee is the first to be issued by the Department of Energy in decades. The guarantee means that if the company can't repay the low interest loan, the government will.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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