May 13, 2011
At full build out, new manufacturing headquarters will employ 481 workers
San Jose-based SoloPower, Portland Mayor Sam Adams, and Portland Development Commission Chair Scott Andrews announced today the company’s decision to develop a high volume thin-film solar panel manufacturing headquarters in Portland. SoloPower and the City of Portland have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding. The Portland City Council will vote on the City of Portland deal package next Wednesday, May 18.
“We are committed to Oregon because of the great people and workforce; the active support and engagement at the state level and from the communities we have talked to; and of course, Oregon’s beauty, location and quality of life,” said SoloPower CEO Tim Harris. “This is where we want to be.”
“SoloPower’s decision furthers Portland’s reputation as a desirable location for internationally-known clean technology companies,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “Working strategically, we’re bringing 481 new, skilled, well-paying jobs to our City.” Clean Technology is one of the targeted clusters in Portland’s 2009 Economic Development Strategy.
“SoloPower’s announcement is great news for Oregon’s economy and clean energy future,” Congressman Earl Blumenauer said. “I am proud that the new facility will be manufacturing clean energy technology right here in Portland and look forward building a strong federal partnership to the company and its employees.”
SoloPower’s thin-film panels weigh far less than traditional glass covered solar panels, and can be installed directly on a roof. The planned SoloPower manufacturing facility represents a $340 million investment at full build-out. SoloPower expects to hire more than 150 workers in the next twelve months, and at full build-out, the manufacturing facility will employ 481 workers at an average salary of $51,000 plus benefits. In addition, an estimated 913 construction, indirect, and induced jobs will be created by the development of this manufacturing facility.
“SoloPower joining the ranks of Vestas, Iberdrola, ReVolt, and Solaicx, solidifies Portland’s position at the forefront of clean technology in the United States,” said PDC Chair Scott Andrews.
Mayor Adams and Chair Andrews flew to San Jose last Thursday, May 5, for a meeting with SoloPower executives and a tour of their prototype manufacturing facility. The visit was part of the City and PDC’s pledge to put together a recruitment package in a short three week turnaround time. You can see video of their tour at mayorsamadams.com.
In addition to well-paying jobs, the City and SoloPower are finalizing a Community Benefits Agreement that includes workforce training, Enterprise Zone Community Contributions and other benefits. SoloPower will work with Portland-based Worksystems, Inc. to train local residents to work in the SoloPower facility. The city and SoloPower also hope to partner on a large-scale local demonstration project in the very near future.
Working with the City and the Portland Development Commission, SoloPower is exploring several potential sites for the manufacturing facility. A site decision is expected soon.
SoloPower, Inc. produces low-cost, high-power, flexible thin film photovoltaic modules that offer a viable alternative to the electricity produced using traditional fossil fuels. SoloPower’s durable, lightweight modules employ its solar cell devices fabricated with copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS), using a proprietary roll-to-roll electrodeposition process. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley at 5981 Optical Court, San Jose, California 95138. For more information on SoloPower, please visit the company at www.solopower.com.