U.S. Ex-Im Bank to Finance Georgia Solar Exports to Mexico
Clean Edge News
A U.S. solar-module manufacturer and a Mexican company are both benefiting from the support of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). In a recently approved transaction, Ex-Im Bank will guarantee a $780,000, 10-year loan to be made by UPS Capital Business Credit to finance the export of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from Suniva Inc. in Norcross, Ga., to a rooftop solar-power project of Grupo Metal Intra S.A.P.I. de C.V. (GMI). GMI is a leader in Mexico’s prefabricated-building industry.
The transaction is being made possible by utilizing medium-term buyer financing that is available to support smaller-scale renewable-energy projects in Mexico and in most other countries.
“With this authorization, Ex-Im Bank is continuing its strong support for Suniva’s high-efficiency exports that are sustaining high-quality jobs in Georgia,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Our financing also benefits GMI, which will reap clean-energy savings for years to come. We hope to support many more such projects in Mexico and around the world.”
Another GMI company, Intragreen Tecnología Sustenable, S.A.P.I. de C.V., will integrate the solar project and act as the provider of local services, including the project’s installation and connection to the grid. Ex-Im Bank’s medium-term guarantee will also support approximately $130,000 of related local costs.
The 500-kilowatt roof-top solar power project will be placed on the roof of GMI’s main production plant in the city of Querétaro. The project will be one of the largest rooftop solar-energy facilities in Mexico.
Since 2007, Suniva has used Ex-Im Bank’s buyer financing and working capital guarantees to support its exports to global markets that include Europe, India, Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Ex-Im’s financing has helped to sustain 190 jobs at Suniva’s manufacturing facility in Norcross, Ga.
Suniva’s technology was selected due to its high-efficiency rate of more than 16 percent at the module level that produces more power on limited surface areas. Suniva is also providing racking and inverters. The solar project is expected to generate 50 percent of GMI’s electricity needs and reduce GMI’s overall energy costs by at least 15 percent annually. GMI estimates that the energy savings will repay the investment in the solar panels in about seven years, while reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 677 tons per year.