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Wisconsin Enterprise Zone Lures California Green Tech Company

The Milwaukee BizTimes reports on how Wisconsin is using its Enterprise Zone benefits to lure a California based green tech company to its state:

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle today announced that W Solar Group Inc. will receive up to $28 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits from the Department of Commerce) to establish a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin and locate its corporate headquarters and research and development facilities in Dane County.

The company expects to create about 620 jobs between its headquarters, R&D and manufacturing facilities. The project represents a capital investment of more than $300 million.

The U.S. and international solar markets are expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead. Wisconsin is a national leader in solar installations. Among the companies the Department of Commerce has assisted are Cardinal Glass, 5NPlus, PDM Solar, ZBB Technologies and Helios.

“W Solar Group was attracted to Wisconsin early in our search for a project location,” Chris Hamrin, president and chief executive officer W Solar Group Inc., which will move to Wisconsin from Chatsworth, Calif. “We are impressed with the high quality workforce, extensive supply chain, and the commitment to producing world-class products. Making Wisconsin our home is the right decision, and W Solar’s goal is to be a great addition to the Wisconsin economy. Wisconsin’s role as a leading manufacturing state with hard-working people also contributed to our decision to make the Badger State the place to grow our company.”

The company has made a commitment to purchase materials and services from Wisconsin suppliers in an effort to create or retain additional jobs.

W Solar Group has a highly efficient technology for producing thin film solar panels on a large scale and at a lower cost than its competitors. The projected global market for solar panels will increase more than tenfold over the next decade, and the company anticipates about half of its production will be exported to overseas markets.

“I am really happy to announce the state will provide $28 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits to help W Solar establish a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin and create more than 600 jobs,” Doyle said. “W Solar choosing to locate its manufacturing facility in Wisconsin is a testament to the hard work we’ve done over the past eight years to build a strong sector of our economy around clean energy and high end manufacturing. This investment will create new business opportunities and jobs at suppliers throughout the region.”

Doyle has used the Enterprise Zones credits to help retain and create jobs at Quad/Graphics, Bucyrus International Inc., Mercury Marine, Republic Airways, U-line, Marinette Marine Inc. and Oshkosh Corp.

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