Uni-Solar to build fifth thin-film PV plant in Michigan, report says

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United Solar Ovonic (Uni-Solar) has decided on Battle Creek, MI, for the site of its next manufacturing facility, according to a news story in the Oakland (MI) Business Review. The Energy Conversion Devices’ subsidiary will begin construction on the $220 million, 120-MW facility within weeks of the expected approval Tuesday of a long-term state tax incentive package.

Once the fab reaches its full production capacity in the second half of 2010, it would employ 350 workers and become the amorphous-silicon thin-film PV company’s fifth production facility in Michigan. The news story says that the “deal also gives the company the option to build an identical
twin version” of the 270,000 square-foot factory at the site. The company’s new production schedule has
it establishing new manufacturing facilities every six months through fiscal 2012, spokesman Mark Trinske told the paper.

The company had said earlier this month that it was close to selecting the latest manufacturing site. The company also looked at sites in Malaysia and New York state, according to the Review.

 

The existing infrastructure and ability to begin construction
immediately was one of the key selling points for the site, Trinske
said.

 

“What we were trying to do is move to different locations so that we
kind of spread out our risks for something like a power outage,” he
said. “We also wanted an area that had access to an educated,
quality workforce, and this has it.”

 

The company has said it plans to reach an overall production capacity of 1020 megawatts by 2012.

 

— Tom Cheyney

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