GE plans to build a 400 MW solar panel factory in Aurora, Colo. According to GE, the manufacturing facility will create 355 jobs in Colorado and will be larger than any existing solar panel factory in the U.S. today.
GE anticipates that the first panels will be manufactured in 2012, with commercial availability in 2013. The selected location, in an existing building just east of Denver, is also in proximity to GE's existing solar center of excellence. This enables an accelerated start-up schedule, with production equipment installation beginning in January 2012, the company explains.
At capacity, the new factory will produce enough panels per year to power 80,000 homes and will be larger than 11 football fields, GE says. When complete, the new solar factory will involve a $600 million investment in GE's solar business.
Colorado already is home to GE Energy's thin-film solar pilot line, where joint technology advancements from GE's Global Research Center and PrimeStar Solar have been validated and tested, the company adds. GE completed the acquisition of PrimeStar earlier this year.
In addition, GE also plans to create 100 new positions in New York to support its solar market expansion.