Three companies have gotten a total of $87 million in tax credits to boost clean-energy technology in Oregon.
They include the SolarWorld wafer plant in Hillsboro and a German company, Centrosolar, reported to be interested in a photovoltaic operation in Gresham.
The SolarWorld plant got the largest amount of credits — $82 million — for an expansion.
Spokesman Ben Santarris called the credits a welcome addition as the company struggles to compete with panel manufacturers that get substantial government backing in countries such as China.
He said SolarWorld, also based in Germany, is hiring eight to 10 workers a week for the Hillsboro plant. The company plans to invest $500 million, have 1,000 employees and be able to produce solar panels with 500 megawatts of generation capacity.
A representative of Centrosolar told The Oregonian newspaper an announcement was expected Monday about the company’s plans. It got $4.7 million in credits.
The Oregon Department of Energy has approved a $6.2 million loan in October for CentroSolar America to finance construction of a 100-megawatt-capacity photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Gresham, although the money has not been disbursed.
Pacific Metal Fab got $304,000 in credits for producing parts for solar hot water systems in Eugene.
The Obama administration announced a total of $2.3 billion in tax credits Friday.
The credits are part of the federal stimulus program. The amounts are not cash grants, but would offset the companies’ tax liabilities.
Ashland Daily Tidings – http://www.dailytidings.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100112/LIFE/1120305/-1/NEWSMAP