W Solar Group, Inc. will locate its corporate headquarters and research and development facilities in Dane County, Wisconsin – a move that will create 600 jobs and continue to build on the state’s burgeoning renewable energy sector. The project represents a capital investment of over $300 million. The company will be joining a growing group of solar companies in the state including Cardinal Glass, 5NPlus, PDM Solar, ZBB Technologies, and Helios.
The company expects to open its headquarters and research and development facilities in the first half of 2011 and begin manufacturing its thin film solar panels in 2012. Plans call for expanding production and the number of jobs in 2013 and 2014, with the facility reaching full capacity in 2015.
Wisconsin is pushing hard to create a strong renewable energy sector. As CivSource reported previously, the state has created the Clean Energy Generation, Transmission and Storage Systems (CEGTS) Consortium, which will be a public-private partnership to drive clean and biotechnology research and development in the state. Wisconsin is also part of a group of states in the region which have identified six energy transmission corridors that could connect more than 15,000 megawatts of wind development.
For this project, Governor Jim Doyle utilized $28 million in powerful Enterprise Zone tax credits from the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to lure the company to the state. “W Solar choosing to locate its manufacturing facility in Wisconsin is a testament to the hard work we’ve done over the past eight years to build a strong sector of our economy around clean energy and high end manufacturing. This investment will create new business opportunities and jobs at suppliers throughout the region,” Governor Doyle said.