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Leading renewable energy manufacturer opening plant in Phoenix, adding 350 jobs

Power One Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of renewable energy conversion devices, announced Thursday that it will open a manufacturing facility in Phoenix.

The Camarillo, Calif.-based company said the facility will create 350 jobs, with production beginning in October and full capacity reached by mid-2011.

At a news conference announcing the new plant, Gov. Jan Brewer credited the Renewable Energy Tax-Incentive program she signed into law with attracting the company and said Power-One brings significant investments that will bolster the Arizona economy.

“We are creating quality jobs for Arizonans and building a more diverse and sustainable Arizona economy,” Brewer said. “I’m delighted they recognize Arizona as the place to be for solar companies to locate and expand.”

The Renewable Energy Tax-Incentive program is intended to support alternative energy production and lure international business. It offers income and property tax incentives for new or expanding renewable energy companies that increase with the level of capital investment.

Power-One is the sixth renewable energy company to move to Phoenix since the incentives became law in January. The company will also be one of the largest employers of the renewable energy companies in the Valley.

“The Phoenix site is key to our continued growth,” said Richard Thompson, president and CEO of Power-One. “We see huge growth opportunities in the Southwest.”

The new 120,000-square foot facility in Phoenix will manufacture devices that covert electricity from solar panels and wind turbines for residential, commercial and utility-grade use.

The company booked a record $215 million net sales for the second quarter, more than doubling its sales from the same period last year.

“We are putting a lot of capacity into growing this market because we think the North American market is getting ready to take off,” said Neil Dial, senior vice president of worldwide operations for Power-One.

The renewable energy industry’s rapid growth is something Brewer hopes to capitalize on in Arizona. She has made the solar energy industry a key component of her plan to create jobs in the state.

The creation of 350 new jobs here in the U.S. reverses the trend of sending manufacturing jobs overseas, according to Dial.

“These are big systems, so we like to build these products in the market they will be used in,” Dial said. “We expect this factory will service our U.S. market.”

The renewable energy company recently opened a Canadian plant and expanded another in Europe. The company plans to begin production in China later this year.

“Power-One’s decision to open this facility in the Valley of the Sun is not only great for the economy, it also brings us a step closer to turning Phoenix into a solar city, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said.

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