A California solar company said last Friday it plans to build a $600 million silicon factory in Mississippi that will be backed by $75 million in incentives from the state.
Calisolar will produce 16,000 metric tons of silicon at a factory in Columbus, Mississippi. The silicon will be sold to customers in the solar industry around the world, the company said in a statement.
The announcement came less than three months after Calisolar received a conditional commitment for a $275 million federal loan guarantee for a silicon manufacturing facility in Ohio. That location has been scrapped in favor of Mississippi, but it was unclear how the switch would impact the company's loan guarantee application.
The company said only that it was in talks with several financial institutions about providing debt and equity financing for the project.
The Calisolar incentive package was approved by state lawmakers on Friday. A separate, $100 million package, was also approved for biomass company HCL CleanTech Ltd. The Oxford, North Carolina company plans to spend $1 billion on a new headquarters, research and development center, and four small and large commercial plants in Mississippi.
Calisolar's Columbus plant is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs. The company did not say how many permanent jobs the site would create.
Based in Sunnyvale, California, Calisolar has manufacturing operations in both California and Ontario, Canada. The company is one of several U.S. manufacturers of solar grade silicon.
The United States is a net exporter of silicon for the solar industry, exporting $2.5 billion of the industry's raw material last year.
Calisolar investors include Advanced Technology Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Good Energies, Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Ventures West.