Calif. company cancels $177M Saginaw solar plant
Monday, January 2, 2012
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A California-based solar power company is canceling plans to build a $177 million solar panel factory in Michigan, the chief executive said.
When the project was announced in 2009, San Jose-based GlobalWatt Inc. said it would create 500 jobs. At that time, Saginaw was one of two communities in the running for the project.
But GlobalWatt chief executive Sanjeev Chitre said the Saginaw project is now on hold, because of a struggling economy and overseas markets.
"We could not manage that kind of liability without the sort of market expanding really rapidly, which we couldn't see happening," Chitre told WNEM-TV last week. He said the company might reconsider if the market expands.
The plan called for assembling crystalline silicon solar panels at the plant. State and local officials approved millions of dollars in incentives, but the aid wasn't distributed, the Midland Daily News reported.
U.S. manufacturers have complained that solar panel prices have plummeted since China began large-scale exports.
Officials in the Saginaw area have been pursuing a number of solar power-related projects. In November, a 240-acre site in Saginaw County's Thomas Township was dedicated as the Great Lakes Solar Technology Park.
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