In a move to encourage foreign solar module manufacturers to build plants in the U.S., Spire has begun its “Come to America” program. The turnkey PV panel fab provider has tapped Mark Case, VP of photovoltaic factory management, to lead the effort.
The company cites projections that the U.S. will be the most rapidly growing PV market in the world, doubling each year over the next few years until the region reaches more than 5 GW through 2011. To take full advantage of the newly signed economic stimulus bill, Spire notes that foreign manufacturers have to produce their modules in the U.S.
Since Spire has been a major supplier of turnkey factories worldwide and has participated in all aspects of the U.S. market, including module manufacturing, tool production, and advanced R&D programs with the U.S. Department of Energy, and has also advised Congress on solar policy directions for more than 30 years. The company says that this experience, coupled with ongoing involvement in all facets of PV in the U.S., makes it ideally suited for “bringing companies to America.”
“We have waited a long time for the U.S. PV market to develop.” said Roger Little, Spire’s CEO/chairman (pictured). “Now that it’s ready to take off, we’re excited about where we are today and what we can offer new entrants. It has taken us 30 years to put ourselves in the position of being able to provide the breadth of support that we now have from plant siting to plant management to module manufacturing and qualification to navigation through U.S. laws and requirements.”
Case, who recently joined the company from Flextronics, will focus on the “Come to America” program for international suppliers, providing factory management services and coordinating after-factory support, including cell and wafer supply, equipment service, and equipment upgrades. His additional responsibilities will include deal structures and management contracts.