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Ex-Im Bank Supports U.S. Exports to World's Largest Solar Energy Facility in Bavaria, Germany

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 2, 2005

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is helping U.S. manufacturers and exporters of solar energy technology and products obtain the working capital to increase export sales to Germany, one of the world's leading markets for renewable energy goods and services. Germany is a growing market for U.S. renewable energy exports because Germany's Renewable Energy Law provides financial incentives for producers of renewable energy.

PowerLight
With Ex-Im Bank support, PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California, partnered with K&S Consulting Group, and Deutsche Structured Finance (DSF) to build the world's largest solar photovoltaic project in Bavaria, Germany. The Bavaria Solarpark uses innovative solar tracking technology to generate clean, renewable electricity.

PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, Calif., a small business manufacturer and supplier of large-scale solar electric systems, recently used a $5 million working capital line of credit guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank to export its innovative solar tracking technology to Bavaria Solarpark, the world's largest solar photovoltaic project located on 30 acres of farmland in Bavaria, Germany. The lender, Union Bank of California, headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., is an Ex-Im Bank delegated authority lender that can commit Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee when the loan is processed.

Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee enables commercial lenders to provide working capital loans for U.S. exporters to fulfill export sales orders and to use export-related inventory and accounts receivable as collateral to increase cash flow. The program is especially beneficial for small and medium-sized U.S. exporters.

Ex-Im Bank is committed to increasing support for U.S. exporters of renewable energy and environmentally beneficial goods and services. Our financing can help U.S. environmental exporters expand their international sales, even in developed markets such as Germany, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill said.

Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee was instrumental in helping PowerLight get the project properly financed for a successful operation. We were able to obtain better terms from our lender with Ex-Im Bank's guarantee, said PowerLight's Chief Financial Officer Jani Janakiraman. Additionally, Union Bank's expertise with Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee Program produced a competitive solution to a complex export transaction within the project completion schedule.

Now fully operational, Bavaria Solarpark is connected to the electrical grid by the regional Germany utility and generates 10 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 9,000 homes in the region. The purchase of solar energy technology and equipment for the project was supported by a 20-year power purchase from the German government. PowerLight supplied 57,600 silicon and aluminum panels for the construction of the project.

PowerLight Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and installer of grid-connected solar electric systems and energy efficient services. The company has built and operates many of the largest solar electric systems in North America and Europe.

Evergreen
Evergreen Solar Inc. of Marlboro, Mass., a manufacturer of solar energy products, is using Ex-Im Bank financing to increase sales to Germany.

Evergreen Solar Inc. of Marlboro, Mass., is a manufacturer of photovoltaic modules for commercial and residential purposes that is using Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee to support its growing sales, especially in Germany. Last August, the company obtained an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed $5 million working capital line of credit from an Ex-Im Bank delegated authority lender, Silicon Valley Bank, which is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Silicon Valley Bank is the primary banking subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bancshares.

Right now, our sales are expanding rapidly throughout the world, particularly in Germany. We were eligible for Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee because a portion of our sales are generated in Germany and throughout Europe. Ex-Im Bank's guarantee provided attractive financing to enable us to increase our working capital to meet demand for our products and to support our ongoing expansion plans, said Evergreen Solar Controller Mark Fidler.

Evergreen Solar Inc. develops, manufactures and markets solar power products utilizing the company's proprietary low-cost manufacturing technologies. The company's products are used in solar power applications that include complete power systems for electric utility customers, as well as wireless power for remote homes, water pumping, lighting and rural electrification.

In addition to its working capital guarantee, Ex-Im Bank provides financing for a broad range of renewable energy and other environmentally beneficial exports through its Environmental Exports Program. Under the program, the Bank provides an enhanced short-term environmental export insurance policy for small business exporters and also offers medium-term and long-term financing with features that include the maximum allowable repayment terms under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), capitalization of interest during construction, and local cost coverage equal to 15 percent of the U.S. contract price.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, helps finance U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank assisted in financing $17.8 billion of U.S. exports to markets around the world. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.