EX-IM Chairman Visits Stion and Promotes US Solar Manufacturing
Fred Hochberg, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States’ (Ex-Im Bank), visited Stion’s headquarters in San Jose, CA today to
highlight sales momentum and technical innovation at one of the largest US solar manufacturers.
Ex-Im Leadership in Renewables Powers Industry Growth
Chairman Hochberg has long been a strong proponent of renewable energy, as Ex-Im Bank has authorized over $1.7 billion in renewables financing since 2009. Ex-Im Bank will be a key driver for growth as Stion expands its 100 MW production line in Hattiesburg, MS.
“We are excited to visit Stion and learn more about their commercial growth, manufacturing ramp-up, and R&D breakthroughs,” said Mr. Hochberg. “They have developed a deep portfolio of technology and their commitment to manufacturing in America means that they are poised to be a key player in U.S. renewables growth.”
“Solar is emerging as a highly competitive form of electricity generation in many new markets overseas, so the ability to work with Ex-Im Bank to drive sales is critical to our growth,” said Chet Farris, Stion’s CEO. “Ex-Im Bank has been a leader in creating solutions to place high-quality US exports into those markets.”
Ex-Im and Stion Eye Collaboration in Key Emerging Markets
One of the areas in which Ex-Im has been most active is India, where it provided early support for the National Solar Mission program. Mr. Hochberg and the Ex-Im Bank team presented some key details on Ex-Im Bank’s presence in India. Stion reviewed its product advantages in high temperature environments as well initial sales efforts, including pilot projects with top tier customers such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
“Ex-Im Bank’s ability to quickly set up robust financing programs in key growth markets is critical in the rapidly changing solar industry,” said Frank Yang, Stion’s VP of Business Development. “We hope that its work with NSM will serve as a model for other new markets.”
Export Growth to Continue as Stion Ramps Up
Stion employs 200 people in its MS factory, and exports account for 20% of 2014 business. In the past year, Stion has grown international sales by 30% and completed shipments to over 25 international customers in 20 countries on 6 continents.
In the US, Stion has recently completed several projects of at least 1MW that have been financed by Washington Gas Energy Systems. These projects demonstrate Stion’s ability to obtain third-party project financing from private sources, providing an important reference base for similar future projects with Ex-Im Bank.