Sunday, June 14, 2009

Great Lakes Bay Region has competition when it comes to attracting solar industry

by Jeff Kart The Bay City Times
Friday June 05, 2009, 7:30 AM

In February, more than 100 business and community leaders gathered to celebrate the launch of Michigan Solar Advantage - a tri-county effort to attract solar investment to the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The announcement didn't make national news.

If Bay, Saginaw and Midland counties hope to grow a solar economy in the area, they'll have to get in line.

Numerous other states are running ahead of Michigan in the race for solar manufacturing, based on recent investment announcements and incentives to lure in business and jobs. And globally, most solar panels are made overseas, in places like China and Malaysia.


Reporters Eric English and Jeff Kart look at how solar energy businesses are moving into the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Michigan is definitely a hotbed of activity. But there is competition," said Monique Hanis, director of communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade group in Washington, D.C.

In the United States, Ohio, Tennessee, Oregon and Nevada have attracted big solar companies to their states in recent months.

While Michigan is emerging as a hub of U.S.-based investment, thanks to giant solar-material maker Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. in Saginaw County, German and other foreign solar companies have been locating in other states, Hanis said. More here.

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