Grape Solar expanding domestic operations

The Eugene company, which distributes solar panels manufactured in China, is setting wheels in motion to manufacture locally.

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Grape Solar has signed a lease on 53,0000 square feet of factory space in Eugene, part of a plan to move some aspects of manufacturing from China to North America.

The company announced hopes to become a local manufacturer, employing up to 200 people in the region.

Grape President Ocean Yuan said the company’s sales have rocketed from zero to $20 million in the past nine months, and he’s waiting to see more orders come through. But he’d eventually like to build three North American assembly plants — in Oregon, New Jersey and Ontario — to be closer to customers. Fully assembled solar panels are bulky and can be expensive to ship from overseas.

“We want to build a billion-dollar company in the shortest history of time,” Yuan said.


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