PHOTO COURTESY OF FIRST SOLAR / John Morris SEED MONEY Despite controversy over the Solyndra venture, DOE is determine to press forward with loan guarantees for solar-energy start-ups. Despite questions about the Dept. of Energy's loan guarantee program raised by the bankruptcy of solar manufacturer Solyndra, DOE closed all but seven of its 35 conditional loan guarantees before the end of the government's fiscal year and the Sept. 30 end of the stimulus-backed program.With just hours to go, DOE closed four outstanding loan guarantees totaling $4.76 billion: $1.2 billion for SunPower to build a 250-MW photovoltaic solar farm; a $1.4-billion
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.