Spanish solar firm chooses Napoleon for first U.S. plantWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Isofoton, a Spanish solar energy company, has chosen Napoleon as the location for its new North American manufacturing facility that could generate as many as 300 jobs.
The Ohio Department of Development (DOD) announced July 6 that it will provide assistance of $15.8 million to leverage Isofoton’s pledged $16.4 million investment in Ohio.
“Making Ohio the base for Isofoton’s first U.S. footprint strengthens our state’s manufacturing supply chain and creates jobs statewide,” James Leftwich, director of the Ohio DOD stated in the press release.
“This statewide collaboration demonstrates Ohio’s focus on the strengths of our regions and targeted industries, and utilizes our available recourses to enhance Ohio’s reputation as a leader in the energy sector,” Leftwich stated.
Isofoton’s Napoleon facility initially will consist of a 50 MW crystalline silicon PV module assembly line with fully automated technology. The firm expects a short-term ramp up to a 100 MW assembly line with plans to add a 100 MW cell line.
The factory will begin operation with 121 clean energy manufacturing jobs possibly by the end of this year and ramp up to 330 direct jobs within three operational years, according to Isofoton.
Another 1,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created by the Isofoton project in 2012, according to the DOD.
“We are very impressed by the strong reaction, leadership, and well-grounded thinking we have experienced in Ohio,” Angel Luis Serrano, CEO of Isofoton, stated in the press release.
After extensive research, Ohio was determined the best choice because it is a top five electricity generator and consumer, top five in strength of state solar presence, as well as home to several top five utilities and has a strong solar energy cluster, according to Serrano.
“Our intention is to advance to all corners of the North American marketplace from our Ohio base, including advanced research and development” Serrano stated.
The $15,893,057 in state funds includes $7.08 million from the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund, $5 million for the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, $3 million in a 166 direct loan, $488,057 in an Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit, $250,000 from an Economic Development Grant, and $75,000 from the Ohio Workforce Investment Program, according to the DOD.
Isofoton has worked with many Ohio partners to produce an “all-Ohio” supply chain for its solar business.
American Municipal Power, Inc. of Columbus has agreed to purchase up to 200 MW of solar panels over five years from Isofoton’s Napoleon plant.
“One of the goals of solar development is to create jobs in local communities and this project represents one of the initial steps in achieving that goal,” Marc Gerken, president and CEO of AMP stated in the press release.
AMP is a nonprofit wholesale power supplier that purchases, generates and supplies electric power to 128 publicly-owned utilities serving more than 570,000 customers in six states, including Ohio and Michigan.
Isofoton was selected by the Turning Point Solar Project and American Electric Power to supply photovoltaic panels for 49.9 MW of solar energy installations on reclaimed mine lands in southeast Ohio, according to Joseph Hamrock, president of AEP Ohio in Columbus.
“Isofoton’s decision to locate its manufacturing facility and associated jobs in Napoleon represents a significant achievement for the community and is the end result of a strong collaborative effort between state and local partners,” Jon Bisher, city manager of Napoleon stated in the press release.
“Isofoton’s selection of Northwest Ohio to locate its solar panel manufacturing operation is another example of what is possible when our region unifies its collective resources,” said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
Isofoton has committed to working with the Port Authority as a supplier of solar panels for its projects.
The Port Authority plans to leverage that commitment by utilizing Isofoton products in our proposed utility-scale solar installation projects, and the Better Buildings Northwest Ohio program, said Toth. That program improves buildings in the region by financing energy efficiency and alternative energy technology improvements to commercial, industrial and residential buildings.
Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo, welcomed Isofoton and its commitment to Northwest Ohio and reciprocates that commitment to developing renewable energy research and expertise.
“We are pleased that Isofoton looks forward to working closely with regional economic development partners and with the University’s multiple research and worker training fronts,” Jacobs stated in the press release.