Monday, July 31, 2006
Michael Shore, MEDC
Zone Will House United Solar Ovonic Facility, Attract New Companies
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that a 281.5-acre Redevelopment Renaissance Zone has been approved for part of the Greenville Industrial Park. The 15-year tax-free designation will accommodate construction of United Solar Ovonic's $132-million solar cell manufacturing facility and attract additional companies and jobs to the city.
"This new Renaissance Zone is another step in our plan to bring jobs to Michigan and Greenville," Granholm said. "It will allow the city to continue to attract high-tech companies like United Solar and grow hundreds of new, high-paying jobs."
United Solar's new facility, expected to be operational next year, will create up to 563 jobs, including 200 directly by the company. The project also paves the way for the potential of five more plants and up to 1,000 additional jobs in Michigan. Assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which administers the Renaissance Zone program, helped convince the company to choose Greenville over a competing site in South Carolina.
"The United Solar Ovonic plant and the potential for more companies locating in Greenville is the result of strong local-state collaboration," Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James C. Epolito said. "I applaud city and county leaders for utilizing the state's innovative Renaissance Zone program to attract new investment and new jobs to the community."
United Solar Ovonic and its parent company, ECD Ovonics, hold the basic patents for the production process and equipment which is the world's largest and most advanced for the manufacture of thin film amorphous silicon alloy solar cells and related products. These products are used for a variety of applications to convert sunlight into electrical energy, ranging from large solar farms for utility-scale applications to battery chargers for solar lanterns.
Established as an innovative economic development program in 1996 and administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Renaissance Zones now comprise 152 geographic locations in 21 urban, rural and military zones throughout the state. To date, they have led to $2.5 billion of private investment in more than 430 projects and the creations of more than 8,500 jobs.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michigan.org.
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