GE recently announced plans to build its new solar panel factory in Aurora, Colo. When completed, the advanced manufacturing facility will create 355 jobs and will reportedly be larger than any existing solar panel factory in the country today. GE says it anticipates the new factory will start up earlier than expected, with the first panels coming off the line in 2012 and commercial availability in 2013.
GE will locate the factory in an existing building in Aurora, just east of Denver. This location, which is also in proximity to GE’s existing Solar Center of Excellence, reportedly enables an accelerated startup schedule with production equipment installation beginning in January 2012. At capacity, the new factory will produce enough panels each year to power 80,000 homes and will be larger than 11 football fields. When complete, the new solar factory will highlight a $600 million investment in GE’s solar business.
Colorado already is home to GE Energy’s thin film solar pilot line, where joint technology advancements from GE’s Global Research Center and PrimeStar Solar have been validated and tested. GE completed the acquisition of PrimeStar earlier this year.
“Working with our Colorado-based solar team, we were able to achieve record efficiencies in our solar panels in record time,” said Victor Abate, vice president for Renewable Energy. “The Colorado location will allow us to deliver our technology roadmap faster and commercialize industry-leading panel efficiencies sooner. We also look forward to continuing to build our relationships with Colorado’s local, state and federal officials who have been extremely helpful as we moved through the site selection process.”
“This is great news for Colorado and further proof that our state is emerging as a center of innovation. GE’s move to Aurora takes advantage of Colorado’s clean energy resources and a collaborative business environment that is committed to helping the company succeed,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We look forward to supporting GE as it fosters its technical innovation and research capabilities in Colorado.”
For more information, visitwww.ge.com.