HENDERSON – Gov. Bev Perdue today joined leaders of Semprius, Inc., a privately held company that produces high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules, in announcing that Semprius will locate a pilot production plant in Henderson.
The project was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant and One North Carolina Grant programs. To meet the targets established in these performance-based grants, the company plans to create 256 jobs over five years and make a capital investment of $89.7 million in Henderson.
“Semprius chose to launch this cutting edge technology in North Carolina because our investments in education and worker training ensure that they can find the job-ready employees they need,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “We welcome them to North Carolina: the smart grid capital of the world.”
Semprius builds its HCPV modules using patented technology and low-cost components that can concentrate the sun’s energy more than 1,100 times onto the world’s smallest solar cells. The company believes its unique manufacturing processes allow Semprius to offer an advantageous cost point and execute rapid, capital-efficient expansion. Semprius will sell modules produced in the Henderson facility to global system integrators and project developers, who in turn sell complete solar systems to end users such as utility companies. Solar systems equipped with Semprius modules offer the conversion efficiency, low cost and high reliability needed to compete with fossil fuel energy generation systems and offer a viable option for achieving grid parity with fossil-based electricity.
While individual wages for the 256 jobs will vary by job function, the overall average for the new jobs will be $45,565 a year, not including benefits. The Vance County average annual wage is $30,004.
“We are excited to partner with the state of North Carolina and Vance County in bringing new jobs to the region, and we appreciate the commitment to both the success of our company and the advancement of solar power generation,” said Joe Carr, Semprius president and CEO. “As the adoption of clean energy continues to gain momentum in the U.S. and abroad, and demand for solar systems grows, the industry will look to innovators like Semprius and pioneer regions like North Carolina for viable solutions.”
“Semprius recognizes North Carolina’s commitment to educating the future workforce,” said Rep. Michael Wray, of Gaston. “And we’re delighted to welcome a company that is on the cutting edge of solar energy technology.”
“This announcement is a double win for North Carolina’s economy,” said Rep. Jim Crawford, of Oxford. “These are new jobs in a pioneering industry, and the company is building products that will save on energy costs in the future.”
“Semprius is creating jobs geared for the future,” said Sen. Doug Berger, of Youngsville. “They’re creating them here because North Carolina has prepared for the future, investing in education and worker training. That’s why we fought so hard against the education cuts in this year’s budget.”
To help facilitate this expansion, the company has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund. This fund provides cash grants to attract business projects deemed by the governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. No money is paid up front and companies must meet job creation and investment targets to receive payments. One North Carolina Fund grants also require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.
Also, the state Economic Investment Committee today voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Semprius. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 61 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the 11 years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If Semprius meets the targets called for under the agreement, the JDIG could yield $3 million in maximum benefits for the company.
Other partners that assisted with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Vance County, the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, the Vance County Economic Development Commission, Golden LEAF Foundation, the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, N.C. State University Economic Development Partnership, US Department of Agriculture and Progress Energy.
Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state continues to work aggressively to create well-paying jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
For more information about Semprius, including job opportunities, visit www.semprius.com.
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