Sec. McGinty Helps Break Ground on $100 Million Solar Manufacturing Project in Bucks...
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Sec. McGinty Helps Break Ground on $100 Million Solar Manufacturing Project in Bucks County New Facility Will Create More Than 200 New Jobs to Region FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today welcomed another major clean energy manufacturer to Bucks County's Keystone International Port Complex, saying Pennsylvania's commitment to renewable technologies is driving innovation and creating opportunities for the state's workforce. McGinty joined local officials and executives of AE Polysilicon, a manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon used in the solar power industry, to break ground on the company's new headquarters. Along with the manufacturing facility that is to be housed on the 32-acre parcel, the company plans to create 145 jobs, with another 60-plus construction and contract workers needed over the next year. "Innovative companies like AE Polysilicon show how we can create good-paying jobs in a rapidly growing industry, while protecting the environment, as well," said McGinty. "Ever since Governor Rendell signed the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards law in 2004, we've enjoyed a tremendous influx of private investment and job growth from companies looking to capitalize on the new demand for advanced energy resources. That's good news for our economy, and people." Pennsylvania has attracted more than $1 billion in economic growth since 2004 in projects that have helped create about 3,000 new jobs in rapidly growing industries such as wind and solar power, biofuels manufacturing, and other areas supporting these sectors. The portfolio standards law is expected to drive an additional 850 megawatts of clean, renewable solar energy capacity to the commonwealth by 2021. AE Polysilicon will help fill a supply void in the solar industry. The company will manufacture polysilicon, which is the raw material used to produce the solar cells and modules that convert solar energy into electricity. Currently there are less than 10 polysilicon manufacturers in the world. Ultimately, said McGinty, this may bring about lower prices for solar energy products, increasing customer demand. "Right now, the high cost of solar power makes it prohibitive to many homeowners and business owners," said McGinty. "While we continue pushing the Governor's proposal for solar rebates, having new companies like AE Polysilicon enter the market will help increase supplies of a very important component to solar panels; improve the economies of scale and efficiencies. Together, this will drive down prices making solar technology more affordable for everyone." Governor Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy, a key component of the recently proposed state budget, will attract $3.5 billion in new investments to the state and create 13,000 new jobs. The plan will expand Pennsylvania's energy production and technology sectors, save consumers $10 billion in energy costs over the next 10 years, and reduce the state's dependence on foreign fuels. One of the key components of the strategy, the Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Initiative will provide production grants and consumer rebates to jumpstart the use of solar energy and attract solar manufacturing companies, such as AE Polysilicon, to the commonwealth. "Global demand for clean energy and solar power in particular is booming; however, limited supplies of polysilicon has restrained the industry's ability to mass produce affordable solar cells and modules," said AE Polysilicon founder and President Dr. York Tsuo. "It is our vision to advance the competitiveness of the global solar energy industry by using cost-effective production technology. We are very excited to locate in Pennsylvania, with its strong commitment to developing a clean energy economy and its skilled workforce. Our product is the basic building block for the solar energy industry. We expect downstream manufacturers and solar projects to follow us to Pennsylvania." The Governor's Action Team coordinated an $8.2 million funding package for AE Polysilicon, with the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation as sponsor. The new facility will be located in a Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone. KOIZs work to develop a community's abandoned, unused, underutilized land and buildings into business districts. For more information the Energy Independence Strategy, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, and click on the "Fueling Energy Savings" icon. CONTACT: Neil Weaver (717) 787-1323 SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Neil Weaver of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, +1-717-787-1323
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