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General Electric's New Solar Panel Factory Will Create 450 Jobs in CO and NY

General Electric (GE) has announced it will open a new solar panel manufacturing plant in Aurora, CO, destined to be the largest such solar plant in America. The $300 million project will create 355 advanced manufacturing jobs in Colorado as well as about 100 new jobs at its two New York centers in Schenectady and Niskayuna.

The new plant will manufacture GE's new CdTe thin film solar panels used for commercial rooftop applications throughout the world. Eventually it will produce enough of these photovoltaic panels to power about 80,000 U.S. homes annually.

GE spokesperson Lindsay Theile said GE is now in the process of refurbishing a 280,000-sq.-ft. former L'Oreal manufacturing facility. Future plans call for GE to expand the facility to 700,000 square feet when it hits 400 MW of capacity. "The plant is opening the first half of next year," she explained. "And while the first panels will be coming off the production line in 2012, they won't be commercially available until 2013."

In the past two years, GE has announced 15 new manufacturing plants or existing factory expansions in the United States.


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