ST. LOUIS, MO – Governor Jay Nixon is pushing his plan to save jobs and create new ones in Missouri, but the governor of Tennessee is announcing that 250 jobs are moving from the St. Louis area to his state.
Confluence Solar has a location in Hazelwood and was looking into building a manufacturing facility in St. Charles, but the Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen announced Confluence Solar will build its new facility in Clinton, Tennessee.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber today joined with senior leaders of Missouri-based Confluence Solar to announce the decision.
Confluence Solar will utilize the facility to produce premium quality mono-crystal silicon ingots for photovoltaic solar power generation. The company’s HiCz™ brand products increase the efficiency of solar cells by 15% or more helping manufacturers of solar panels generate electricity more efficiently at a cost equivalent to or better than can be done using multi-crystal silicon ingot.
"Two years ago, we set upon a strategy to make Tennessee a significant player in the solar industry," said Governor Bredesen. "Since then, we’ve seen more than two billion dollars in capital investment and more than a thousand jobs created. The announcement today by Confluence Solar is further proof that Tennessee is being recognized as a leader in renewable energy and that a new economic engine is emerging in our state."
"Tennessee’s nationally recognized business climate and their focused solar strategy along with Clinton’s close proximity to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the new Solar Institute made Tennessee the perfect location for our facility," said Tom Cadwell, CEO and co-founder, Confluence Solar. "The number of solar industry leaders establishing operations here and the intellectual energy surrounding solar technology provides our company, current investors, and future investors with the confidence that Tennessee is the place Confluence Solar needs to be."
"When both Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Chemie, AG announced plans to locate in our state, we said Tennessee would be looking to expand the solar industry throughout the value chain," said Commissioner Kisber. "The announcement today by Confluence Solar is proof that strategy is working and that Tennessee is now a major player in a growing industry."
Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Kisber were joined at the announcement by Confluence Solar’s co-founder John DeLuca, PhD as well as Jim Highfill, the company’s chief operating officer. Dr. DeLuca, who began his career in nuclear materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the early 1970’s, has more than 35 years of experience conducting research and development with 25 years experience specifically focused on silicon research.
He has led worldwide research efforts in granular polysilicon, batch CZ, continuous CZ and alternative crystal growth methods. Highfill has 22 years of silicon manufacturing experience designing, developing and operating silicon manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including the start up of two overseas silicon manufacturing facilities.
The company will develop its facility on a 25 acre site in the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park on Frank Diggs Drive. Initial plans call for a 200,000 square foot building. With its investment, Confluence Solar will qualify for statutory incentive programs including FastTrack Job Training Assistance, FastTrack Infrastructure Development, the Tennessee Jobs Tax Credit and the Super Jobs Tax Credit among others.
"Confluence Solar’s investment represents an important step in the solar value chain that is growing across the Tennessee Valley," said John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development for the Tennessee Valley Authority. "TVA and local service providers, such as Clinton Utilities Board, are pleased to partner with state and community leaders to assist companies as they grow and thrive."
"We’re appreciative to Confluence Solar for this investment in Anderson County," said Mayor Rex Lynch of Anderson County. "We’re committed to doing our best to provide this cutting edge company with a world class workforce."
"Confluence Solar could not have chosen a better community in which to locate," said Clinton Mayor Scott Burton. "Confluence Solar will make Clinton, Tennessee an important center for new solar technologies and will provide good paying jobs in the process."
John Fougere, the Director of Communications from the Dept of Economic Development, responds to the Confluence Solar story:
“The state of Missouri, through the Department of Economic Development, believes it made a competitive offer to a company that is still in the formative stages of developing its business. We will continue to work with businesses both in Missouri and in other states to boost investment and create solid, high-paying jobs in our state.”
About Confluence Solar, Inc.
The company was founded in 2007 by silicon industry veterans with the purpose of bringing premium quality, low-cost single crystal silicon as a platform for high efficiency cell design to solar cell manufacturers. Learn more about the company at www.confluencesolar.com.