ecomagination · GE Reports
In two years, GE has announced 15 new manufacturing plants or existing facility expansions in the United States, from a new locomotive manufacturing plant in Texas and an aircraft engine composites factory in Mississippi to refurbished appliance and lighting facilities in Kentucky, Alabama and Ohio, among others.
GE’s recent breakthrough in solar energy technology—earlier this year achieving the highest-ever reported efficiency for CdTe thin film solar panels—will be brought to market at a new manufacturing plant to be built in Aurora, Colorado, the company announced last night at an event with Governor John Hickenlooper. When completed, the expansion will create the country’s largest U.S. solar panel manufacturing plant, 355 advanced manufacturing jobs at the new plant in Colorado and approximately 100 additional jobs in New York, at GE’s renewable energy headquarters in Schenectady and the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna.
GE chose Colorado primarily because the location will allow for accelerated speed to market: GE expects the first panels to come off the assembly line in 2012, with commercial availability in the second half of 2013. The factory will be constructed in an existing building in Aurora, where equipment installation will begin in January 2012. Once it reaches full capacity, the new plant will make enough solar panels per year to power 80,000 homes. Colorado is also home to GE Energy’s thin film solar pilot line, where joint technology from GE Global Research and PrimeStar Solar, which GE acquired earlier this year, have been validated and tested.
“We are moving ahead with the first phase of building a global solar business now because of our technology leadership and economics. We remain on track to deliver the most affordable solutions for our customers as we continuously improve this technology,” said Victor Abate, vice president of GE’s Renewable Energy business.
This story was originally published by GE Reports.