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Solar Discussion to Highlight OPIC Conference on Renewable Energy & Clean Technology

March 30, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The solar energy panel discussion at an upcoming conference on renewable energy and clean technology will feature industry leaders who are taking the sector into an innovative and lucrative future in emerging markets, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced today.
Among the panelists are top executives from a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells which was awarded the 2010 Green Transaction of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States; a company that is using an OPIC loan to build the first megawatt-scale Independent Power Project solar facility to sell clean, sustainably generated electricity to India’s grid system; and a global leader in the manufacture of wafers, the foundation upon which all solar cells and semiconductors are built, and which is now expanding into India’s solar market.

“Advances in solar technology have put the field at the cutting edge not only scientifically, but in practical applications that will generate a great deal of electricity in emerging markets – and with it investment opportunities for U.S. companies and their partners in developing countries,” said OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli. “For our upcoming conference, OPIC has assembled a solar energy panel discussion comprised of the very industry leaders who will enable prospective investors to take advantage of those opportunities.”

The OPIC conference, entitled Renewable Energy & Clean Technology: Accessing Opportunities in Emerging Markets, will be held May 5-7 at the Shangri-La Hotel in New Delhi India. Information about the conference may be found at

 The conference is designed to identify investment opportunities in the renewable energy and clean technology sectors. Industry leaders in solar, wind, hydro, biomass and clean technology development, along with investment professionals, foundation representatives, bankers, private equity managers, and U.S. and local government officials will provide insights into investment opportunities in the renewable energy and clean technology sectors in Africa, Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America, as well as financing tools available to take advantage of them.

 The solar energy panelists are:

• Inderpreet S. Wadhwa, president of Azure Power, a U.S. small business which is using a $6.2 million OPIC loan to build a two-megawatt solar power plant in India’s Punjab State – the first megawatt-scale IPP solar facility to sell clean, sustainably generated electricity to India’s grid system.

• Rahul Sankhe, head of business development in India for MEMC Sun-Edison. MEMC has been a pioneer in the design and development of wafer technology for 50 years. Semiconductors and solar cells which rely on wafer technology are in turn the building blocks for the $1 trillion electronics market and the $18 billion solar cell/module market. MEMC recently acquired Sun Edison LLC, a developer of solar power projects and North America’s largest solar energy services provider.

• Bryan Ashley, chief marketing officer for Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells and modules, awarded Ex-Im Bank’s 2010 Green Transaction of the Year award on March 11 for its use of a $2 million Ex-Im Bank short-term multi-buyer insurance policy to offer a $500,000 credit line to a customer in India to buy its solar equipment. Suniva grew out of the University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

• Carlos Aguilar, senior vice president for global development at BrightSource Energy, a California-based company which develops, builds and operates large-scale solar plants that deliver low-cost solar energy to industrial and utility companies worldwide.  BrightSource uses  proprietary technology that utilizes thousands of mirrors to track the sun in two dimensions and reflect the sunlight to a boiler that sits atop a tower. When the concentrated sunlight strikes the boiler’s pipes, it heats the water inside to 550°C, creating superheated steam that is piped to a standard turbine where electricity is generated.

• Dr. Ayman Al-Maaitah, vice chairman of Millennium Energy Industries (MEI), an international solar energy solutions company operating in the Middle East North Africa region. Since 2002, MEI has been providing small and large scale solar energy solutions for industrial, commercial, and residential clients in a wide range of applications including space heating and cooling, and industrial and domestic hot water systems.