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With the price of the mighty ore surging past $1,500 an ounce, Americans are grabbing their popcorn pans and heading for the nearest national forest.


With the price of the mighty ore surging past $1,500 an ounce, Americans are grabbing their popcorn pans and heading for the nearest national forest.

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Superior Essex Expands in Tarboro, NC

Superior Essex Expands in Tarboro, NC

Superior Essex has been granted a state economic development grant to help fund the construction of a new $58-million manufacturing plant in Tarboro, NC for power cables. According to the company, 116 new jobs will be created within the next five years. Atlanta-based Superior Essex already has one manufacturing plant in Edgecombe County that has been supplying power cables and metal wires to the industrial and utility industries since 1966. The company already employs 238 people in that facility. The overall average for the new jobs will be $41,289 a year plus benefits, according to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office. The Edgecombe County average annual wage is $33,176. The state Economic Investment Committee on April 14 voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to the company. If Superior Essex meets its hiring and investment goals over the next nine years, the JDIG could yield $1.2 million in benefits for the company.


Green Packaging LLC Locates in SC

Green Packaging LLC Locates in SC

Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Lowcountry Economic Alliance have announced that Be Green Packaging LLC will locate its new manufacturing and distribution facility in Jasper County. The company plans to invest at least $7.3 million and expects to generate at least 175 new jobs over the next five years, with the potential of more jobs and investment added during that time. “What makes this great is that we said we weren’t going to just focus our economic development and job creation efforts on the cities but also the rural areas that need it the most. Be Green Packaging’s decision to invest more than $7.3 million and create 175 new jobs in our state is exciting news. We’re working every day to make our state the most competitive in the country for business development so that we will continue to see investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “…The people of this state have the heritage, backgrounds and experience that will provide our company with the skills and resources for producing products made from sustainable plant fibers. The local agricultural community will benefit from Be Green as the crops and byproducts they grow in this region will be used as feedstock in our packaging material,” said Ron Blitzer, co-founder and CEO of Be Green Packaging.


Google Gets Bigger in Solar Power

Google Gets Bigger in Solar Power

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.


Halliburton Plans $65-Million Plant in LA

Halliburton Plans $65-Million Plant in LA

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


GE to Build Largest U.S. Solar Panel Plant

GE to Build Largest U.S. Solar Panel Plant

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 […]