WASHINGTON, USA -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States has provided a $6.4 million loan guarantee to finance the export of solar modules from West Coast-based SolarWorld Americas to Williams Industries/Williams Evergreen of Barbados. This project, one of the largest in the Caribbean, includes engineering services and solar-system racking exported from two American companies.
"Ex-Im export financing for this deal supports several American businesses and helps support jobs in five states, including California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington," said Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred Hochberg. "Our financing is good for American jobs, boosts American manufacturing and supplies clean, renewable energy to Barbados."
Williams will use the solar-power system to provide 1.4 megawatts of on-site power to ten sites within the Williams Group portfolio. The immediate savings in power costs will also furnish a hedge against future increases in electricity prices. Williams Industries, established in 1972, controls 13 wholly owned and 17 joint venture companies in Barbados, St Lucia and other Caribbean islands. These companies are active in manufacturing, electrical engineering, construction, agriculture, tourism waste recycling, real estate development, and water desalination.
"Without the assistance of Ex-Im Bank, Williams Industries through its subsidiary Williams Evergreen would not have been able to build 1.4 megawatts of solar capacity over the last six months," said Williams Industries chairman Ralph "Bizzie" Williams. "As a Feed In Tariff is legislated for Barbados, we are looking forward to working with the Ex-Im Bank to build a very significant expansion of our output of electricity from the sun."
"With its sun-drenched tropical setting and reliance on imported oil for energy generation, the Caribbean is an ideal location for solar," said Raju Yenamandra, vice president of sales and business development for SolarWorld. "In Williams Industries, we found a perfect partner for island solar development. By combining SolarWorld's high-quality solar equipment with Williams' knowledge of the Caribbean electrical sector, we can provide significant oil savings to the island and lower payments for Williams. With Ex-Im Bank financing, this project makes good economic and environmental sense."