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HelioSphera Plans 160MW Solar Factory in Philly

The Greek based HelioSphera has announced plans to begin construction of a new solar manufacturing facility in Philadelphia's Navy Yard, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 500,000 square-foot, $500 million plant will employ 400 people when it begins production in late 2011. Production capacity is expected to be 1.2 million thin-film solar modules per year.

The company was lured by an offer of $49 million in loans and grants. The state offered $20 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. offered the 40-acre Navy Yard site for $1.

In addition to the grants and loans, the project would be eligible for Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone benefits, which would exempt it from state and local business taxes until 2025.

"This project means a great deal for the city and the state, not only in terms of jobs and the sizeable investment the company is making here, but also in strengthening our state's presence in the solar energy industry. Solar is the fastest growing source of electric generation in the world. With this and other solar projects underway across the state, we're making a statement that we intend to be a leader in that growth," said Governor Rendell.

There are more than 1,300 solar projects underway in Pennsylvania today that, once completed, will bring the state's total solar capacity to nearly 60 megawatts, or enough to power 7,200 homes. That level of expected growth represents a fifteen fold increase in the amount of solar energy produced in the state in only a couple of years and will make Pennsylvania one of the top five states for solar production by 2010.

Read the news article.

Read the governor's press release.



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