Lexington-based 1366 Technologies last week landed a $150 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, which announced its conditional commitment to the company last week.
“As governments around the world push the commercial development of renewable energy and carbon-reducing technologies, the DOE loan guarantee program is critical to keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive and thriving,” said CEO Frank van Mierlo, last week in a company press release. “With this loan, 1366 will realize its goal to make solar energy as cheap as coal while helping the U.S. to reclaim a key part of the silicon supply chain and restore the nation’s dominance in photovoltaics.”
According to the release, 1366 will use the loan to scale its in-state Direct Wafer manufacturing capabilities and to build a second US manufacturing facility.
The loan will significantly aid in the company’s expansion, and the firest phase of the project is expected to create 70 permanent jobs and 50 construction jobs, according to a Department of Energy estimate.
“Massachusetts and the 7thh District are hubs of the clean energy universe and 1366 Technologies is a shining star,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey in a press release congratulating 1366. “This funding recognizes that 1366 Technologies is a model for the renewable energy innovation which can drive job creation and economic growth here in the 7th District and all around the nation. This new technology is a homegrown clean energy success story – a concept born at M.I.T., developed with the help of federal research investments in Lexington, and now going into production to create jobs here in the Commonwealth. I congratulate 1366 Technologies for securing this esteemed award that recognizes the most promising and innovative clean energy projects.”
According to the company press release, the first 1366 commercial facility, located in Lexington, is scheduled to be fully operational by 2013 and should produce 20 megawatts per year of capacity and employ 100. Construction on the second, larger facility – 1,000 megawatts at a still undecided location – is scheduled to commence in 2013 and create 300 permanent positions, the release said.