Solar Co. Misses State Loan Payments in Virginia, Minn.

Updated: 02/21/2013 10:51 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

Silicon Energy, a Washington-based solar panel company, missed its first two loan payments.

So, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRB) restructured the deal and the new payments do not start until October 2013.

Silicon Energy opened its solar panel manufacturing plant in 2011 just outside Virginia, Minn. on the Iron Range.

The company received a $1.5 million loan from the IRRB and the IRRB also gave the Mountain Iron Economic Development Authority $3.6 million to loan Silicon Energy to help build its new plant.

Silicon Energy also owes an initial payment of $75,000 on the $3.6 million loan in October as well.

The head of the IRRB says the company's business model had to be redone after the tsunami in Japan hurt the company's timeline for opening up and selling its solar panels.

IRRB Commissioner, Tony Sertich, also says the company did not get into a rebate program offered by Xcel Energy, but should be able to get into that program soon, which should help Silicon Energy sell more solar panels to homeowners and businesses.

KSTP tried calling officials at Silicon Energy in Mountain Iron, Minn., but no one answered the phone Thursday afternoon.