GE…please consider locating your $600 million solar panel manufacturing facility in the Tucson areaby Hugh Holub on Apr. 08, 2011, under politics
The Arizona Republic reported on April 8th that GE is planning to build a $600 million solar panel manufacturing facility.
Got to wonder if there is anyone in Tucson who even has a clue about how to contact GE and pitch them about locating this facility in our area.
GE jumps into the solar panel business with plans for big plant
by Jonathon Fahey – Apr. 7, 2011 10:53 AM
NEW YORK — GE is taking aim at the world’s biggest solar company in a bid to expand into a fast-growing renewable energy market.
General Electric (GE) announced Thursday that it would spend $600 million to build the nation’s biggest solar panel factory. It would build the same type of so-called thin film solar panels manufactured by First Solar (FSLR), biggest producer of solar panels in the world.
GE also announced Thursday that testing by a government laboratory showed its panels set an efficiency record for this type of thin film panel, made from the elements cadmium and tellurium.
“It’s demonstrated to be the cost leader in the marketplace, and we think we can push costs lower, and faster,” said Vic Abate, vice president for GE’s renewable energy business.
The company did not say where the factory would be built. Abate said it would eventually employ 400 people and be producing panels by 2013. The plant would have the capacity to build 400 megawatts worth of panels a year, enough to power about 80,000 homes.
By comparison, First Solar will have 2,300 MW of capacity by the end of this year.
Still, analysts say GE’s size, manufacturing experience, and ability to invest heavily in technology and to finance projects is sure to pressure First Solar and other solar makers.
“There’s no way to not look at this as a severe competitive threat,” said Aaron Chew, an analyst at Hapoalim Securities in New York.
Several large Korean companies — Samsung, Hyundai Heavy Industries, LG Display, and LG Electronics — have also indicated they plan to invest in solar.
“The big boys are entering the space, and it doesn’t bode well for the smaller players,” Chew said.
GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., is the biggest maker of wind turbines in the U.S. and among the biggest in the world, but it has been slow to venture into solar. It first bought a minority stake in PrimeStar Solar, which developed the technology GE now plans to manufacture, in 2007. It recently acquired all of PrimeStar, which is based in Colorado.
Nopte: First Solar is based in the Phoenix area….and Maricopa County is becomming a center of solar development in the region unlike Tucson which still considers it is doing well if it can land a call center and trash a copper mine.
Second Note: a little outfit called Maestros Group based down in Santa Cruz County was involved in a project development deal with GE a few years ago to construct a power plant in Nogales, Sonora. …so the company actually knows a little about the area…..hint…hint…hint.