W Solar Group, Inc. will receive up to $28 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits from the Department of Commerce to establish a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, and locate its corporate headquarters and research and development facilities in Dane County.
The company expects to create about 620 jobs between its headquarters, R&D and manufacturing facilities. The project represents a capital investment of over $300 million.
W Group President and CEO Chris Hamrin praised Wisconsin as an ideal location for the company’s expansion plan. The privately-held company is currently located in Chatsworth, Calif.
W Solar Group is considering locations for its headquarters and research and development facility as well as its manufacturing operation. The company expects to open its headquarters and research and development facilities in the first half of 2011 and begin manufacturing in 2012. Plans call for expanding production and the number of jobs in 2013 and 2014, with the facility reaching full capacity in 2015.
As W Solar Group expands and begins manufacturing, the number of full-time jobs will grow, and reaching full capacity in 2015 will create more than 620 jobs. The company has made a commitment to purchase materials and services from Wisconsin suppliers in an effort to create or retain additional jobs.
W Solar Group has a highly efficient technology for producing thin film solar panels on a large scale and at a lower cost than its competitors. The projected global market for solar panels will increase more than tenfold over the next decade and the company anticipates about half of its production will be exported to overseas markets.