|Solar Production Facility Brings 300+ New Jobs to Denver
|When it comes to green job creation, the addition of manufacturing jobs, and the advancement of Denver’s international business connections, the Mile High City scored a “triple win” with the announcement of a new solar inverter production facility to be based in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.
Governor Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper joined officials from SMA Solar Technology on Oct. 26, 2009, to announce the Germany-based company will open its first North American manufacturing site in Denver. This will be the largest solar inverter production facility in the United States and SMA’s first manufacturing plant outside of Germany.
Production is expected to start in 2010 with 300 employees and a capacity to expand to 700. The plant is located at Enterprise Park at Stapleton at Havana Street and Smith Road with easy access to Interstate 70 and a rail line.
“Together with Mayor Hickenlooper, we welcome SMA to Denver and to Colorado's New Energy Economy,” Gov. Ritter said. “SMA is a globally recognized leader in solar inverter manufacturing. The company's decision to invest over $20 million in this site and to locate in Colorado emphasizes our growing clean-energy industry, the growing market for photovoltaics, and Colorado's success at transforming our energy future.”
“The decision by SMA to build a production facility in Denver is excellent news for our region and will provide a welcome boost to our local economy” Mayor Hickenlooper said. “This move helps solidify Colorado's place as a global leader in renewable energy under Gov. Ritter.”
“This announcement caps several months of effort and negotiations made by the Denver Office of Economic Development, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and other partners to land SMA in Denver,” said André Pettigrew, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. “Together, we competed among several other states for what will become a top-notch production facility within this important industry sector.”
OED led the City’s efforts in developing a package of incentives, which is expected to total nearly $600,000 that was coupled with incentives from the State to help attract the company. Through the OED Business Incentive Fund, the City will be supporting the job creation and business location with financial incentives. OED also is leveraging its allocation of federal workforce development funds to offer SMA wage subsidy support as well as assistance with employee recruitment through the Denver Workforce Center at Stapleton Plaza.
“In the medium term, we expect the U.S. market to become the largest solar market globally,” said Günther Cramer, CEO of SMA Solar Technology. “With our new production facility in Denver, we will be able to reduce transportation and interim storage costs as well as currency exchange risks.”
SMA will produce the Sunny Boy, Sunny Central and Sunny Island solar inverters for the North American market. The inverters convert the direct current (DC) generated by residential solar panels into grid-acceptable alternating current (AC).
In addition to the state and city, other project partners include Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., Forest City Stapleton and Etkin Johnson Group.
State of Colorado Press Release
SMA Solar Technology Press Release