Google is investing $168 million in what it says will be the world’s tallest solar power tower. The internet giant is funding BrightSource Energy’s solar farm in the Mojave desert, which employs an Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System to produce solar energy by utilizing fields of heliostats to concentrate the sun’s rays. The concentrated rays are directed towards the top of a tower where a receiver converts the rays into steam that powers a traditional turbine and generator to make electricity. The Ivanpah Power Tower will reach approximately 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. By the time the plant is up and running in 2013, it will be producing 392 MW of solar energy. The Ivanpah announcement followed Google’s statement last week that it will invest $5 million towards a solar photovoltaic farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany.
Leading oilfield service provider Halliburton plans to build a $65-million manufacturing unit in Lafayette, LA. The 200,000-square-foot project is expected to start by July 2011. The facility will manufacture complex components for oilfield service activities and is expected to generate employment for about 150 people. According to Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the new plant will likely contribute approximately $16.3 million in new, state tax revenue and almost $4.4 million in new, local tax revenue over the next 10 years. LED has extended its support to Halliburton through a customized incentive package, a performance-based grant for site acquisition, infrastructure from the Louisiana Rapid Response Fund and customized workforce solutions from Louisiana FastStart. Halliburton also enjoys a rebate on new payroll expenses and certain sales taxes from the Quality Jobs Program as well as property tax abatement for materials utilized in new manufacturing from the Industrial Tax Exemption Program
Mexico has reached FTAs on a bilateral as well as on a multilateral basis. It has signed bilateral agreements with Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, while concluding multilateral accords with Canada and the U.S. under NAFTA; with Venezuela and Colombia; and with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (these three accords came into effect on January 1, 2001).
General Electric Co. has announced that it will spend $600 million to build the largest solar panel factory in the United States, a facility that will produce thin-film panels. GE also announced that testing by a government laboratory showed that 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 per year, enough to power about 80,000 homes. GE will be going head to head with the world’s largest solar panel maker, First Solar Inc., in the burgeoning competition for thin-film panels. By the end of this year, First Solar is expected to be manufacturing 2,300 MW of capacity. Analysts say GE’s size, manufacturing experience, and ability to invest heavily in technology and to finance projects is sure to eventually 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. When complete, the factory will highlight an expected $600 million plus investment made by GE in solar technology and commercialization and will be complemented by the recently announced acquisition of power conversion company Converteam. In addition, GE has completed the acquisition of PrimeStar Solar, Inc., a thin film solar technology company in which GE has held a majority equity stake since 2008. Photovoltaic solar is the next step in growing GE’s renewable energy portfolio and is part of the company’s “ecomagination” commitment to drive clean energy technology through innovation and R&D investment. “Over the last decade, through technology investment, GE has become one of the world’s major wind turbine manufacturers, and our investment in high-tech solar products will help us continue to grow our position in the renewable energy industry,” said Victor Abate, vice president of GE’s renewable energy business. “We are addressing the biggest barrier for the mainstream adoption of solar technology—cost—and the NREL certification proves that we are on track to deliver the most affordable solutions […]
Alpina Foods plans to build a 28,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Genesee County Economic Development Center’s (GCEDC) Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. The Colombian company told El Tiempo, a Spanish-language media outlet, that construction of its Batavia plant would begin this August with scheduled completion in May 2012. The $15 million project is expected to create 50 new jobs. Alpina makes specialty yogurt along with milk, baby food, desserts, cheeses, creams and butter. The company told media in Colombia that it could receive incentives from various state agencies in New York, including the Empire State Development Corporation, the Department of Labor and the Community Renewal office. GCEDC officials would not comment on the announcement. Alpina said Batavia was chosen because of its proximity to milk supply and markets, and because of state incentives. The Batavia project would make Alpina the first multinational food company founded in Colombia. “Alpina is a symbol of pride not only to Colombians but to the entire Andean region,” company president Julian Jaramillo told El Tiempo.
80/20 Inc.—a designer and producer of modular extruded aluminum framing for industrial and home-hobby applications—plans to expand its operations in Columbia City, Indiana, about 125 miles northeast of Indianapolis. According to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), the company will spend upwards of $9.4 million to construct more than 90,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space. The expansion is expected to create up to 110 jobs by 2014. The IEDC offered 80/20 Inc. up to $500,000 in performance-based tax credits and $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. In addition, the Whitley County Council will consider further property tax abatement at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation. Founded in 1989, 80/20 Inc.’s modular aluminum framing components, known as “The Industrial Erector Set,” are configured for safety enclosures, workstations, CNC equipment and exhibits, among other uses. The company currently employs more than 250 associates in the city and already expanded manufacturing and distribution capabilities at the site in 2008 with a $5 million investment and 40 new jobs. “80/20 Inc. continues to prove that Indiana is a place where businesses can grow and prosper,” said Governor Mitch Daniels. “We look forward to this company’s next growth announcement as each one means more new opportunities for Northeast Indiana workers.” “Growth in demand for modular framing products has allowed us to expand our operations from a 65,000 square-foot facility in 1996 to over 135,000 square feet now,” said Don Wood, president and chief executive officer of 80/20 Inc. “We are excited, with the help of the state, to be able to further expand our facility as we continue to enter new markets and enjoy great success.”
A state panel has approved tax incentives for a possible expansion at the General Motors assembly plant in Bowling Green. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved offering $7.5 million in tax breaks if the plant, which makes Corvettes, goes forward with the $131-million project. Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokeswoman Mandy Lambert told the Daily News of Bowling Green that the approval “outlines the state’s support for the project, should it happen.” Local GM spokeswoman Andrea Hales said the company is looking at other sites for possible investment and there is no pending announcement. United Auto Workers Local 2164 President Eldon Renaud told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he thinks the project could be the next generation of the Corvette.
Vestas Opens World’s Largest Wind Tower Plant in Pueblo Vestas Towers America, Inc. recently held the grand opening of what it says is the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing plant. The new Pueblo, CO facility features nearly 13 million square feet of space and eight miles of on-site railway tracks for the transport of materials and finished tower components. The opening of Vestas Towers gives Vestas, a global leader in wind turbine production, a substantial capability to address growing needs among North American wind power plants for reliable, high performance wind turbines. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined a host of regional and local Colorado dignitaries, as well as Vestas Towers President Knud Bjarne Hansen and Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch, during a ribbon cutting ceremony. Participants at the grand opening ceremony recognized a factory that currently employs more than 400 workers and is capable, at peak production, of producing 1,090 towers per year. The event also kicked off Secretary Salazar’s national renewable energy tour, which spans Colorado, Nevada and California. The steel industry has and will continue to play a large role in Pueblo’s identity, but as seen here today, the renewable energy industry is carving its own path into the city and state’s history, said Secretary Salazar. Colorado is committed to the development of a clean energy economy, and I applaud Vestas for recognizing the potential of Colorado’s landscape and workforce. Vestas Towers America, Inc. has the ability to process more than 200,000 tons of steel per year— enough to build two bridges the size of the Golden Gate every year, or the equivalent of 28 Eiffel Towers. Locating the factory along major highway and railroad lines provides Vestas with the ability to meet customers’ needs with locally managed logistical efficiencies, which translates directly to cost and environmental benefits. “We are extremely pleased to simultaneously provide job opportunities for the local community and outstanding product for our customers made right here in Colorado,” said Hansen. “We have deliberately located our factories in a central region in the U.S.– including our towers, nacelles and blades plants—because regional centralization allows Vestas to build and ship locally in any direction needed in North America, and that translated to a direct competitive advantage for all of our stakeholders.” In the past few months, Vestas Towers America, Inc., has been actively recruiting and hiring people who are skilled in a range of desirable jobs ranging from engineering to human resources and from welding to painting. The company has attended numerous local […]
All along the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, major U.S. ports are scrambling to be the go-to destination for shipping traffic from an expanded Panama Canal.
Texas continues to outperform the rest of the nation in job creation, creating more jobs in 2010 than any other state and achieving job growth nearly double that of other top 10 states.