Executives of a California start-up joined Governor Kulongoski at Gresham City Hall Tuesday, to announce plans to build a new solar manufacturing plant.
The plant will employ 170 people when it starts production next year. But it could grow to 1,000 employees if Solexant is successful.
The four-year-old company makes thin-film solar cells. The technology was developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. It’s expected to increase efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs.
Ted Kulongoski: "Today's announcement is an example of how, with the right policies, collective vision and coordination we can bring businesses like this company and their new solar technology to Oregon."
The plant is being built with a $25 million loan from the state. It's the largest loan in the 30-year history of the Oregon Energy Program.
Gresham City Council has voted to repay part of the loan if Solexant defaults. In turn, Solexant has agreed to expand only in Gresham.