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Solar Power Chooses McClellan for New Plant

Solar Power Chooses McClellan for New Plant

Solar Power Inc. will build its new solar-panel manufacturing operation and headquarters at McClellan Business Park, ending three weeks of speculation. 

The Roseville-based company will begin construction on the 100,000-square-foot building in July and should be completed in early 2011. The company could produce about 50 megawatts of solar panels at the soon-to-be open local plant, doubling its annual production in connection with its operations in China.

“The site provides an excellent geographic location for us as we pursue a growing number of new business opportunities within California and across the country,” Solar Power chairman and chief executive officer Steve Kircher said in a news release. “It’s the right move at the right time for us.”

The nine-month project will create about 120 construction-related jobs, with 100 full-time employees permanently for Solar Power. “The addition of this renewable energy manufacturing facility is great news for Sacramento and the rest of the state because it will lead to more homes and businesses powered by sunshine while creating jobs in the clean-tech industry,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a news release.

On March 9, Solar Power announced an initial commitment of $24.7 million in recovery zone facility bonds from Sacramento County. The funding is connected to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The company will use some of the funding for a 10-megawatt, $50 million photovoltaic system in the county.

The deal is a “brilliant example of how green businesses are thriving in the Sacramento region,” said Robert Burris, deputy director for the Sacramento Area Commerce & Trade Organization.

Rob Leonard, the county’s economic development director, said Solar Power’s decision “reinforces Sacramento County as a national focal point for green-tech company growth.”

Solar Power started in 2005, and has been the fastest-growing company in the four-county region during the past years, according to Business Journal research.

The company has about 60 employees who will move from Roseville to the new plant next year.

Shares of Solar Power (OTCBB: SOPW) remained unchanged at 95 cents in midday trading Monday.

Solar Power's announcement comes a year after OptiSolar Inc. closed its McClellan Park photovoltaic panel manufacturing operations, laying off hundreds of workers. The company had announced plans to create as many as 1,000 jobs at the local plant, before the economy and finances forced the shut down.

View this article at SacramentoBusinessJournal.com


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