Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue might not have much past green cred — he has, after all, been a global warming skeptic who’s suggested prayer as a way to resolve the state’s severe drought — but he boosted his rep a bit this week by cutting the ribbon for Suniva Inc.’s new photovoltaics plant in the Atlanta area.
The plant is the first solar cell manufacturing facility in the Southeastern US.
Upon unveiling the new plant, Perdue even sounded green:
“With patents developed in the laboratories of Georgia Tech, Suniva’s story is a prime example of how Georgia can lead the nation by teaming the strengths of public and private institutions,” he said. “Georgia made a strong commitment to the clean energy industry through its Energy Innovation Center and Bioenergy Corridor, and Suniva’s new facility makes us one of the first states in the nation manufacturing solar cell technology.”
Suniva says the PV plant will create 100 new green jobs for the Atlanta area by the end of next year. That employment figure is expected to grow even more as the facility achieves full production capacity by 2010.
The company says it has so far signed more than $1 billion (US) in contracts to ship its proprietary ARTisun™ solar cells to solar device manufacturers around the globe.
And, because it’s a manufacturing plant and not a solar farm, Perdue can still keep praying for rain if he wants to.