United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., the global leader in thin-film, flexible, lightweight solar products and systems, announced that it will establish a manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada, that will be operational by August 2011. The 7,000 square meter facility, located at 6135 Morton Industrial Parkway in LaSalle, Ontario, is under lease to the company for 10 years, and will result in the hiring of up to 80 people. United Solar will upgrade the existing building and deploy capital equipment with total first year project capital anticipated to be approximately $4 million (U.S.).
United Solar will manufacture its proprietary thin-film solar laminates in the facility specifically for sale in the Ontario market. The Ontario-made product is an important component in complying with the domestic content requirement of the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in-tariff program. The plant will have an initial annualized capacity of 15 megawatts (equal to providing solar power to 4,000 homes with a carbon offset of more than 5,000 metric tons per year), but will be designed with the ability to quickly ramp to 30 megawatts once higher market demand is established.
“I’m pleased to welcome United Solar and 80 new jobs to Ontario,” said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development & Trade and MPP for Windsor West. “The fact that United Solar is establishing their first Canadian manufacturing facility in Windsor-Essex, Ontario speaks to our competitive business environment, skilled workforce and green energy plan.”
“This is another demonstration that Ontario’s clean energy economy continues to grow,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy. “Projects like United Solar’s are helping build our clean energy economy, creating good jobs, powering our homes and helping clean up the air we breathe.”
Lindsay Boyd, Chairperson of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation Board said, “A company like United Solar brings a unique element to this emerging cluster in our region and further positions us as the leaders in this sector.”
“It’s been a rewarding experience to work with the United Solar team and we very much appreciate their professionalism, investment and confidence in the region,” added Ron Gaudet, CEO of WEEDC.
Ken Antaya, Mayor of LaSalle said, “LaSalle is excited that this cutting edge technology has chosen our town to establish a local manufacturing facility that will immediately create 80 new jobs and make a substantial financial commitment in our community. We welcome them with open arms and they can rest assured that the town will do everything in its power to assist them in making their endeavor a success.”
“United Solar is proud to be expanding our base of manufacturing to Ontario and to be part of the growth of the Windsor-Essex region,” said Mark Morelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of ECD. “We are grateful for the assistance of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and the government of the Province of Ontario in our decision to build out this facility. We believe in the potential for solar energy in Ontario and look forward to many years of success in this market.”
United Solar has applied for training grants from the Ontario government to assist with the ramp up of the facility. In addition, the company is expecting to receive support under the Ontario Works Program and from the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, which are designed to encourage job growth in the province.
United Solar has manufacturing facilities in Auburn Hills and Greenville, Michigan; Tijuana, Mexico and a joint venture manufacturing operation in Tianjin, China.
About Energy Conversion Devices/United Solar
Energy Conversion Devices, through its United Solar subsidiary, is a global leader in building-integrated and rooftop photovoltaics. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to clean, renewable energy using proprietary technology. ECD’s Uni-Solar brand products are unique because of their flexibility, lightweight, ease of installation, durability and real-world efficiency. The company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems, which enable customers to transform unused rooftop space into a value-generating asset. In addition, ECD’s Ovonic Materials Division is the pioneer in NiMH battery technology, and is developing low cost fuel cells, hydrogen production from bioreformation, and hydrogen storage technologies. For more information, please visit energyconversiondevices.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning our plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future net sales or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs, plans or intentions relating to expansions, business trends and other information that is not historical information. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us on the date of this release and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Risks that could cause such results to differ include: our ability to maintain our customer relationships and establish new relationships; the worldwide market for solar energy systems; changes to government incentives related to solar energy; our customers’ ability to access capital to finance the purchase of our products; and our ability through technology improvements to reduce cost and improve the conversion efficiency of our solar products. The risk factors identified in the ECD filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, could impact any forward-looking statements contained in this release. Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. assumes no responsibility to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.