Saint-Gobain is opening its first North American solar mirror manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Ariz. The manufacturing plant will benefit both the Arizona environment as well as the economy — expecting to create approximately 50 new jobs.
Saint-Gobain’s manufacturing plant will offer the same quality solar mirror thermal products in North America as it does in Europe, while reducing the carbon footprint of transporting the product over long distances.
“Saint-Gobain Solar is a welcome addition to Greater Phoenix’s growing solar supply chain and further enhances our reputation as the nation’s hotspot for solar and renewable energy,” says Barry Broome, Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO. “Investments from major international corporations like Saint-Gobain exemplify how the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program is creating quality jobs and building a sustainable economic platform for the region’s future.”
According to Alain Garnier, director of Saint-Gobain Solar North America, local production of solar mirrors in Arizona accelerates the company’s plans for growth in the North American solar market.
“Goodyear offers great local access to the solar concentrator market in the southwest region of the U.S.; it is close to our customers,” Garnier says. “Goodyear also offers a good infrastructure, easy access to highways, and an educated workforce.
“In terms of benefits for Arizona, Saint-Gobain’s expansion to Goodyear means more jobs for Arizonans and helps solidify Arizona as the solar capital of the world.”
What’s unique about this solar mirror manufacturing plant is the testimony it will make about the products it creates. It is going to utilize Saint-Gobain solar mirrors in the building process to produce energy for the manufacturing process.
“We are proud to help lead the drive to save energy not only through responsible manufacturing practices, but also through the development of sustainable, energy-efficient building products and solutions for communities around the world,” Garnier says. “Leading by example, the company will be installing solar photovoltaic systems to offset the site’s energy needs.”
The plant’s projected production capacity corresponds to an annual thermal power output of 300MW, or the equivalent annual energy requirements for an American town of 150,000 inhabitants. It is estimated that each year it will save approximately 320,000 tons of carbon dioxide that would have been generated if using a coal fire method. This is the equivalent of replanting approximately 62,000 acres of forest.
“We are grateful to the state of Arizona, which has adopted a proactive policy to encourage companies from the solar sector to establish manufacturing plants,” adds Garnier. “The Arizona Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program helped to encourage us to select the state for our new plant. Following a tough selection process, we chose to set up our plant in the Phoenix area, in Goodyear, where we are pleased to have been very positively received.”
The facility will supply the domestic solar mirror market and will eventually produce millions of square feet of solar mirrors for thermal power station technologies including, but not limited to, concentration towers and linear Fresnel lenses.
The solar mirror plant is expected to launch in the last quarter of this year and will compliment Saint-Gobain’s current solar mirror production base, which includes a parabolic mirrors plant in Portugal and a flat mirrors facility in Germany.