Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., the leading global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products for the building integrated and commercial rooftop markets, today announced Battle Creek, Mich., as the location for its new 120MW solar cell manufacturing facility. The company expects to begin construction on the 265,000 square-foot facility this fall and to be in production by the end of 2009. Energy Conversion Devices also has the option to build a second 120MW facility at the Battle Creek site with the same specifications.
Mark Morelli, ECD's president and chief executive officer, said, "We continue to profitably grow our business, and there is a strong demand worldwide for our solar products. To meet this demand, we are expanding our capacity to 1GW by the end of fiscal year 2012. After careful analysis of a number of potential sites we have chosen Battle Creek for this new 120MW plant as we continue to select sites that offer access to qualified workforces and the ability to quickly begin construction and ramp production. We plan to produce solar cells in Battle Creek, which will then be finished into solar laminates or integrated into BIPV products at other locations around the world."
"We look forward to becoming a part of the Battle Creek community, and we expect to create 350 local jobs within the next three years. I'd like to thank Calhoun County, the City of Battle Creek and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their help during the selection process and their ongoing support. The economic incentives offered by State, County and Battle Creek governments, and the support and assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) were key elements in our decision to choose Battle Creek, without which we would not have been able to expand in this community," added Morelli.
The MEDC has offered Michigan Business Tax credits valued at $41.4 million over 20 years to win the company's business. A $12.6 million federal Community Development Block Grant approved by the MEDC and awarded to Calhoun County will fund infrastructure improvements needed to support the new plant. The MEDC and city have supported a 15-year, tax-free Renaissance Zone and property tax abatements for the site, worth an additional $67 million to the company. With additional funding for training assistance, the state and local incentive package totals approximately $120 million for the Battle Creek expansion.