Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., may build a manufacturing plant for
solar panels in New York as part of the state’s efforts to
become a leader in clean energy innovation and manufacturing.
Tokyo-based Solar Frontier and the State University of New
York College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, known as
CNSE, signed an agreement to explore building a Solar Frontier
solar-panel plant in western New York and setting up the
copmany’s North American headquarters at CNSE in Albany, CNSE
said in a statement yesterday.
“Development and implementation of the initiative is
projected to generate over $678 million in investments over 7
years,” CNSE said. “Solar Frontier anticipates the creation of
250 direct research, development, and manufacturing jobs, and
700-1000 indirect jobs from contractors and suppliers expected
to locate in and around its New York facilities.”
Solar Frontier aims to start operations at the plant as
early as 2017, the Nikkei newspaper reported today. Satoshi
Yoshida, a spokesman for the company, said no decision has been
“Establishing overseas production bases is at the core of
our mid-term growth plan,” Solar Frontier President Hiroto Tamai said in a separate statement today.
Solar Frontier, which has three manufacturing plants in the
southern prefecture of Miyazaki, has the ability to annually
make solar panels capable of producing 1 gigawatt of
The company is building its fourth plant in Miyagi
prefecture in northern Japan, which is expected to be completed
in 2015. The company makes panels using copper, indium, gallium
and selenium, known as CIGS.
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Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at
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Reed Landberg at
Iain Wilson, Andrew Hobbs