Solar-cell start-up and Intel spinoff SpectraWatt moves operations from Oregon to New York

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Oregon’s loss is New York’s gain, as crystalline-silicon solar cell manufacturing start-up SpectraWatt said that it will build its first factory in IBM territory in Hopewell Junction, NY. The venture-backed Intel spinoff  originally chose Hillsboro, OR, as its base of operations, but suspended construction there earlier this year while it searched for another site.

The cellmaker will build its initial advanced 60-MW fab in the Hudson Valley Research Park, which is scheduled to be in production by early 2010. Additional lines are being planned, and the site’s manufacturing capacity expected to reach 120 MW within two years. 

The move should also result in 100 new jobs in the region within its first year of operation.

“Between the skilled workforce, outstanding support from the Empire State Development Corporation and the valuable programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the decision to locate in New York was very easy for us,” said Andrew Wilson, SpectraWatt’s CEO.

“SpectraWatt’s decision to bring their headquarters and R&D operations to Dutchess County is an enormous win for the State of New York and is a testament to the state’s ability to attract emerging and fast-growing industries,” said New York Gov. David Paterson. 

“Following in the footsteps of world-class technology companies to locate their R&D facilities in New York state, including IBM and General Electric, SpectraWatt’s investment further solidifies New York as a prominent leader in green technology and is a vital component to securing our state’s future economic stability.”

Investors in SpectraWatt’s $50 million funding round in mid-2008 included Intel Capital, Cogentrix Energy, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, and Solon SE. The company initially planned to begin product deliveries by mid-2009, but pushed back its production timeline when the decision was made to find another location to construct its research and manufacturing facilities.

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