Solexant commits to Gresham

The manufacturing plant for thin-film solar cells will initially employ 100 workers.

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Solexant Co. is set to announce today their plans to build a manufacturing plant in Gresham.

The plant would produce solar cells from thin layers of material, and initially employ about 100 employees.

Solexant’s plans call for a plant in Gresham capable of annually producing modules that can generate 100 megawatts of energy. Solexant’s technique, developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will enable it to use a variety of materials. Oregon economic development officials have been trying to land a thin-film manufacturer to help diversify the state’s expanding solar industry.

Initial plans call for a facility with 100,000 square feet of space and 100 employees, increasing to 170 employees at full production, according to the city council materials. Long term, the company hopes to eventually expand the facility to manufacture panels capable of generating 1,000 megawatts. Such a facility could employ as many as 1,000 workers.