The sun continues to shine on Bend’s PV Powered.
The solar products manufacturer has added 30 employees since June and is fast-tracking an expansion project in order to add more capacity to its plant in the Brinson Business Park in northeast Bend.
The company is now up to 80 employees and hiring more thanks to market demand for its 260-kilowatt inverter that’s exceeding sales and industry expectations, said Erick Petersen, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.
“We’re pretty blown away by the industry acceptance — and the interest in the product caught us a little by surprise,” Petersen said.
PV Powered designs and manufacturers solar inverters, which convert energy collected from solar panels into electricity that can be used in a home or business or routed into transmission networks.
The company previously specialized in small residential inverters but has developed larger units for commercial use, including a 1-megawatt inverter it recently unveiled.
Petersen said that as utilities and companies invest more in commercial-scale solar power, they are turning to PV Powered to fill their inverter needs. Couple that with demand for renewable energy projects stoked by federal and state stimulus dollars, and Petersen said the company is projecting year-over-year revenue growth that will triple in 2009 and 2010.
“We’ve gotten validation from the marketplace. … It’s really started to take off,” Petersen said.
To boost its manufacturing capacity, the company is speeding ahead with a planned expansion that will add 12,000 square feet of assembly area and 50,000 square feet of warehouse space.
The company was previously using a fraction of its roughly 100,000-square-foot plant, a former wood products mill.
Petersen wouldn’t say how much the expansion is costing but pegged it as a multimillion-dollar project. The privately-held company doesn’t release sales or revenue figures, but Petersen said the expansion is being funded by both its surge in sales and a multimillion-dollar investment of debt and equity financing it received last summer from Vancouver, Wash.-based investment firm Evans Renewable Holdings II LLC.
The expansion is slated to begin next week and finish by January.
“2010 is going to be a huge year for us, so we wanted to kick off the expansion before the snow flies,” Petersen said.
Andrew Moore can be reached at 541-617-7820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Moore, The Bulletin – http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091106/BIZ0102/911060378/1002/NEWS01&nav_category=NEWS01