The US Department of Energy (DOE) has offered a conditional commitment to Abound Solar, a manufacturer of low-cost, cadmium telluride, thin-film photovoltaic solar modules, for a $400 million, seven-year loan guarantee to expand its solar module manufacturing capabilities.

Abound Solar has raised approximately $200 million in venture capital and private equity since 2007, built its first production line in Longmont, Colo. and begun commercial operations. Abound anticipates using $100 million of the loan proceeds to increase the capacity of its existing Longmont facility to 200 megawatts per year by the end of 2011.

The company plans to invest the balance of the guaranteed loan to support the construction of a larger manufacturing facility in Tipton, Ind. When both plants are complete, Abound Solar will be able to produce more than 840 megawatts of solar modules annually.

Built upon 15 years of development at Colorado State University and with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Abound Solar is producing solar modules that significantly reduce the cost of generating solar electricity using a robust, commercial-scale, continuous manufacturing process.