Hiring is expected to start in the first quarter. The plant is likely to offer 355 jobs at wages averaging $50,000, said Jeff Wyatt, CEO of GEâ¿¿s solar technology division.GE in April announced plans for a $600 million move into solar power manufacturing. The company bought PrimeStar Solar, which developed thin-film solar panels based on technology developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, and said it planned to build the nationâ¿¿s largest solar panel manufacturing plant. The announcement kicked off a national competition, with Colorado and other states competing to land the plant, jobs and associated growth. The plant will start operations in about 200,000 square feet and eventually expand to 700,000 square feet by 2015 â¿¿ the size of 11 football fields, GE officials said. When running at full capacity, the plant will make 400 megawatts worth of panels a year â¿¿ enough to support the power demand of 80,000 homes. â¿¿This was a perfect play, we were very lucky to have that lab in our backyard, we have the innovation, the educated workforce and the collaboration that allows a company like GE to â¿¿bring good things to life,â¿¿â¿ Perlmutter said, quoting the companyâ¿¿s famous tag line. Tauer, the Aurora mayor, credited a partnership between the governorâ¿¿s office and local economic development officials for working together to land the plant. Incentives for the plant came from Colorado, Aurora and Adams County. Local officials offered about $20 million in rebates on sales and use taxes for equipment as well as personal property taxes. The state offered a total of $2.4 million in incentives from two funds: $1.4 million from Coloradoâ¿¿s â¿¿Strategic Fund,â¿ which pays portions of the total pledged based on the companyâ¿¿s actual hiring performance; and $1 million from the â¿¿Colorado Firstâ¿ fund, which helps pay for job training.
GE officials said they believe the company will be able to take advantage of between $13 million and $15 million of the total incentive package.Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2011/10/14/colorados-score-on-ge-checklist.html?ana=thestreet