United Solar Announces Establishment of Manufacturing Facility in Canada

April 17, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), announced that it will establish a manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada, that will be operational by August 2011. The 7,000 square meter facility, located at 6135 Morton Industrial Parkway in LaSalle, Ontario, is under lease to the company for 10 years, and will result in the hiring of up to 80 people. United Solar will upgrade the existing building and deploy capital equipment with total first year project capital anticipated to be approximately $4 million (U.S.).

United Solar will manufacture its proprietary thin-film solar laminates in the facility specifically for sale in the Ontario market. The Ontario-made product is an important component in complying with the domestic content requirement of the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in-tariff program. The plant will have an initial annualized capacity of 15 megawatts (equal to providing solar power to 4,000 homes with a carbon offset of more than 5,000 metric tons per year), but will be designed with the ability to quickly ramp to 30 megawatts once higher market demand is established.

"I’m pleased to welcome United Solar and 80 new jobs to Ontario," said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development & Trade and MPP for Windsor West. "The fact that United Solar is establishing their first Canadian manufacturing facility in Windsor-Essex, Ontario speaks to our competitive business environment, skilled workforce and green energy plan."

"This is another demonstration that Ontario’s clean energy economy continues to grow," said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy. "Projects like United Solar’s are helping build our clean energy economy, creating good jobs, powering our homes and helping clean up the air we breathe."

"United Solar is proud to be expanding our base of manufacturing to Ontario and to be part of the growth of the Windsor-Essex region," said Mark Morelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of ECD. "We are grateful for the assistance of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and the government of the Province of Ontario in our decision to build out this facility. We believe in the potential for solar energy in Ontario and look forward to many years of success in this market."

United Solar has manufacturing facilities in Auburn Hills and Greenville, Michigan; Tijuana, Mexico and a joint venture manufacturing operation in Tianjin, China.