Solar products manufacturer brings 80 jobs to Ontario
April 20, 2011 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., a provider of thin-film, flexible, lightweight solar products and systems, recently announced that it will establish a manufacturing facility in Ontario that will be operational by August 2011. The 7,000-square-metre facility, located at 6135 Morton Industrial Parkway in LaSalle, Ont., is under lease to the company for 10 years, and will result in the hiring of up to 80 people. United Solar will upgrade the existing building and deploy capital equipment with total first year project capital anticipated to be approximately $4 million US.
United Solar will manufacture its proprietary thin-film solar laminates in the facility specifically for sale in the Ontario market. The Ontario-made product is an important component in complying with the domestic content requirement of the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff program. The plant will have an initial annualized capacity of 15 megawatts (equal to providing solar power to 4,000 homes with a carbon offset of more than 5,000 metric tons per year), but will be designed with the ability to quickly ramp up to 30 megawatts once higher market demand is established.
“I’m pleased to welcome United Solar and 80 new jobs to Ontario,” said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and MPP for Windsor West. “The fact that United Solar is establishing their first Canadian manufacturing facility in Windsor-Essex, Ontario speaks to our competitive business environment, skilled workforce and green energy plan.”
“This is another demonstration that Ontario’s clean energy economy continues to grow,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy. “Projects like United Solar’s are helping build our clean energy economy, creating good jobs, powering our homes and helping clean up the air we breathe.”
United Solar has applied for training grants from the Ontario government to assist with the ramp up of the facility. In addition, the company is expecting to receive support under the Ontario Works Program and from the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, which are designed to encourage job growth in the province.
United Solar has manufacturing facilities in Auburn Hills and Greenville, Mich., Tijuana, Mexico and a joint venture manufacturing operation in Tianjin, China.