Ex-Im Bank Identifies Green Transactions of the Year

Suniva, Inc., a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells and modules headquartered in Norcross, Ga., and Clipper Windpower, a manufacturer of wind turbines located in Carpinteria, Calif., received the 2010 Green Transaction of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States at the bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., recently.

Suniva used a $2 million Ex-Im Bank short-term multi-buyer insurance policy to offer a $500,000 credit line to a customer in India to buy its solar equipment and has a number of potential export deals in the pipeline. The company plans to expand its U.S. facilities and add U.S. jobs to meet growing demand.

“Suniva exemplifies the innovative spirit behind the development of America’s leading-edge green technology and its export to the global marketplace,” said Ex-Im Bank Chair and President Fred P. Hochberg. “This company is growing global business and U.S. jobs at a time when many small companies are wary of exporting. We hope Sunivia’s receipt of this award will inspire other U.S. small businesses to increase sales through exporting, with the support of Ex-Im Bank.”

Suniva grew out of the Department of Energy-funded University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a key site for silicon photovoltaics research in the United States. Export sales represent 90 percent of the company’s business. Seventy of its 130 employees were hired in the past year in an area that has been hard-hit by manufacturing plant closures. New Suniva employees were hired from closed auto company plants in Atlanta as well as other shuttered companies. Approximately 23 percent of its employees are military veterans.

Backed by an Ex-Im Bank $80.66 million direct loan, Clipper achieved a number of firsts when it broke into the global marketplace by exporting 27 Liberty 2.5-megawatt wind turbines to Mexico.

“Clipper Windpower’s transaction was the first export of its wind technology outside of the United States, the first Ex-Im Bank project financing for a wind power sale, and the first large U.S. wind technology sale in Latin America,” said Hochberg. “The transaction is keeping U.S. workers employed while furthering renewable energy and green technology exports.”

The Liberty wind turbines were installed at La Ventosa-La Mata in Oaxaca, Mexico and are currently starting operations. The 67.5-megawatt project is owned by Electrica del Valle de Mexico (EVM), a subsidiary of France’s EDF Energies Nouvelle. The project area is home to one of the world's best wind resources with average wind speeds of 12 meters-per-second, and a total estimated wind resource of 6,000 megawatts.

“The Ex-Im Bank funding provided support for Clipper’s sales efforts at a time when project financing was tough to get,” said Clipper Chief Executive Officer Doug Pertz. “The export helped keep people working in our Iowa factory at a time when many companies in America were downsizing. We’re confident that this first export for Clipper also will encourage additional international sales for us in the future, and support additional green jobs for America.”

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