Economic Development, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Solar energy supplier plans plant

June 12, 2014
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A California-based supplier to the solar energy industry plans to open a plant in the area and create up to 56 jobs in the process.

Livermore, Calif.-based SolarBOS plans to invest $884,000 in a facility in Walker and create the jobs over the next three years, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit, on Wednesday.

The company supplies combiner boxes, recombiners and fuse boxes, breaker, disconnect and contractor enclosures and other products to the solar industry.

Closer to customers

SolarBOS is purchasing some of its materials from Belding and Saginaw for assembly at its California facility.

Some of the finished products are then shipped back to customers in the East and Southeast.

As a result of its growth, SolarBOS decided it was time to open a facility closer to its customer base.

“West Michigan’s manufacturing sector is unique in its diversity and talented workforce,” said Jason Schripsema, chairman and CTO, SolarBOS. “We hope to leverage both of those assets in this new chapter of SolarBOS's growth story.”

Energy

The Right Place said SolarBOS, founded in 2004, has built a reputation in the “balance-of-system” market of the solar industry.

SolarBOS supported nearly 1,200 MW of commercial and utility-scale photovoltaic projects in 2013 and has supported nearly 3 GW worth of projects to date.

Incentives

SolarBOS will receive a $250,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund for the facility.

The city of Walker is also expected to provide local support for the project in the form of a property tax abatement.

The move by SolarBOS is a “testament to how our local, regional and state economic development partners can all work together to help companies expand and locate new operations in West Michigan,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO, The Right Place.

“SolarBOS’s decision to locate operations in West Michigan is wonderful news for our region’s growing solar energy industry,” Klohs said.

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