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Solar panel maker gets first ever alternative-energy Fed loan guarantee

The Department of Energy (DOE) this week made the first alternative-energy loan guarantee, announcing that Solyndra Inc., a solar energy company based in Fremont, Calif., will receive $535 million. The company – profiled recently by ScientificAmerican.com – plans to use the money to ramp up production of its cylindrical, thin-film solar panels that lie flat on rooftops.

The cash won't flow until the loan receives some final legal and financial green lights, according to a DOE press release. The DOE is reviewing dozens of other projects, from nuclear to carbon capture and sequestration, and will likely be issuing more loan guarantees in the coming weeks, the New York Times reports.

Solyndra's cylindrical solar cells on a rooftop in California. Image Credit: Solyndra Inc.

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