While photovoltaic system manufacturer Solyndra has burned to ashes, nearby a privately-held solar manufacturer in Fremont has been quietly rising like a Phoenix with a little help from the state. With further help authorized by the California Energy Commission this week, the company is set to expand further and of late has even hired some of Solyndra\u2019s former workers. While the federal Department of Energy guaranteed $535 million in loans for bankrupt Solyndra, the Energy Commission Nov. 16 approved a $2.2 million loan for neighboring Solaria to add equipment at its Fremont plant. The investment is expected to increase its annual solar panel manufacturing capacity by 8 MW\/year. \u201cThe CEC\u2019s loan,\u201d Dan Shugar, Solaria chief executive officer told Current, \u201cwill help fund expansion of our California operations and enable us to purchase additional manufacturing equipment.\u201d He lauded California\u2019s political leaders for setting policies that have allowed the state \u201cto remain the largest solar market in the U.S. for the last 20 years\u201d and for creating \u201ctens of thousands of high value solar jobs.\u201d \u201cThis is a paltry sum of money,\u201d said Energy Commission member Jim Boyd. But there are \u201cno rewards without risk,\u201d he added. The loan to Solaria comes on top of previous loans the Energy Commission made to the company under its Clean Energy Business Financing Program totaling $2.8 million. Companies making clean energy products are eligible to apply for a maximum of $5 million from the program. Solaria, which makes panels and solar tracking systems, markets its products around the world and has manufacturing operations both in Fremont and India. It also has a sales office in Germany to tap Europe\u2019s hot solar market. After raising private capital late last year, Solaria announced it planned to add 150 workers combined at its manufacturing facilities in Fremont and India, where it hopes to capitalize on that nation\u2019s plan to install 20 GW of solar by 2020. In backing the loan, Energy Commission member Carla Peterman said that politicians have unfairly singled out solar manufacturing for scrutiny and criticism among all the different industries government subsidizes. \u201cThis is an area where we can and should lead,\u201d said Energy Commission member Karen Douglas, because California is both a leading market for solar panels and a center for a lot of the research and development that\u2019s advancing solar technology. Through such small loans and other support the state is helping build \u201ca leading industry,\u201d she said. The Energy Commission also approved a $1.7 million loan to help Morgan Solar in Chula Vista expand its solar panel production capacity by 6 MW\/year, a move which maxes out that private company\u2019s eligibility for loans under the Clean Energy Business Financing Program.