As issues mount for SoloPower, Oregon loosens the reins

Things may be getting a little bit sunnier for SoloPower.

As the Oregonian reports, the embattled thin-film solar startup company has been granted some relief on its $10 million Oregon Department of Energy loan through a restructuring. The move comes after the company defaulted on the loan in July.

Despite the relief, the SoloPower saga is far from over for Oregon, which also granted the company $20 million in Business Energy Tax Credits (BETC) when the once San Jose, Calif.-based firm announced plans to expand to Oregon in 2011. SoloPower is now headquartered in Portland.

The loan restructuring relaxes job creation requirements and gives the company six months to put together its next payment. The company is seeking $50 million in outside investment so it can resume production at its North Portland manufacturing facility.

SoloPower's financial issues don't stop with its commitments to Oregon: The company has been sued by a former executive for back pay, is reportedly being evicted from its former San Jose headquarters and may also owe vendors for materials and equipment.

If the company folds, the city of Portland may be on the hook for $5 million of the $10 million state loan due to a guarantee granted in 2011 by then-mayor Sam Adams.

Read more on SoloPower's struggles from the Oregonian's Molly Young.


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