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Solar Panel Company Chooses Columbus, IN December 8, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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updated: 12/8/2010 5:48:54 AM

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report


A solar panel company plans to locate its first manufacturing facility in Columbus. NuSun Inc. says it anticipates creating 240 jobs by 2014 by investing nearly $9 million to purchase an existing facility. Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong says there are still a few items that need to be put in place before the deal is finalized, including securing a state grant.

December 8, 2010

News Release

COLUMBUS, IN (Dec. 8, 2010) – NuSun, Inc., a manufacturer of solar panels, announced today that it will locate its first manufacturing and assembly center here, creating up to 240 new jobs by 2014.

The company, which will manufacture nano-coated high efficiency photovoltaic solar panels for use in U.S. and international markets, will invest $8.9 million to purchase, improve and equip a facility in the Woodside South Industrial Park in Columbus, Indiana. The company anticipates production to begin in mid-2011.

Citing increased demand for U.S.-manufactured solar panels and advantages over the unpredictable nature of product quality and supply chain from traditional foreign sources, NuSun expects to become a leading U.S. manufacturer of low cost, high quality photovoltaic panels within a few short years.

“We are confident that Columbus will offer us a competitive cost environment and productive workforce,” said Ryan Stout, founder and chief executive officer of NuSun. “As we plan our launch of this exciting new venture in Indiana, the support we have received from the local community and the state has been tremendous.”

Mayor Fred Armstrong welcomes the news of NuSun’s decision to locate its manufacturing and assembly center in the community.

“Columbus is certainly seeing many positive signs that our economy is rebounding,” said Mayor Armstrong. “NuSun’s announcement of up to 240 new jobs is excellent news.”

To win the project to Columbus, the city, Bartholomew County, and the Columbus Redevelopment Commission have pledged $325,000 in combined Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) and Tax Increment Fund (TIF) support, and the city will also make available the proceeds of a $500,000 grant from the Lawrenceburg Regional Economic Development grant program. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has also offered NuSun up to $2.25 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants. In addition, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Development (OCRA) will consider an application from the City of Columbus for an additional $600,000 grant to equip the facility.

“This combined effort is a great example of how we can work together to attract investment and jobs to Bartholomew County,” said Commissioner Paul Franke. “This project will add to our tax base, which benefits everyone, and will bring job opportunities to our residents.”

In preparation for the OCRA grant application, the city on Tuesday entered into an agreement with the company that details the creation of up to 80 jobs during the first 24 months, but local leaders are looking to entice up to 240 jobs by 2014 by offering the local portion of funds as a performance-based forgivable loan over a ten-year period.

This will also be the first time that the city or county will use the EDIT fund as part of an incentive offering.

Columbus Economic Development Board executive director Jason Hester believes it’s an appropriate use.

“Columbus is a community that believes in investing in the future, and in today’s highly competitive environment, using the EDIT fund to attract jobs and additional investment is a very good application of the tool,” said Hester.

Trena Carter of Administrative Resources association provided services to the city in the preparation of the OCRA grant application, and Ed Curtain, executive director of the Columbus Redevelopment Commission, helped in the formation of the incentive agreement.

“An important benefit of winning the OCRA grant for the company is that NuSun will be required to offer more than half of their initial 80 jobs to persons who are currently low- to moderate-income, based on federal guidelines,” said Carter.

NuSun expects to take occupancy of their selected building by the middle of February, with improvements and installation of equipment to begin soon thereafter. The first hiring round of technicians, handlers, and other positions should occur by summer of next year. Today’s announcement comes just a few weeks after Cummins announced plans to add 350 professional employees to the local workforce over the next 18 months, filling engineering, technical and other professional positions.

“We still need a few other items to get put into place for the NuSun project, like the state grant,” said Mayor Armstrong. “Assuming everything falls in line, we will look forward to formally welcoming them to the community in the very near future.”

About NuSun, Inc.
Beginning in 2011, NuSun will manufacture low cost, high quality, next-generation crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels for U.S. and international commercial and governmental industries from its new manufacturing center located in Columbus, Indiana, USA. For more information please visit http://www.nusunsolar.com

About Columbus Economic Development Board
For more than 30 years, the Columbus Economic Development Board has supported the growth of businesses in Columbus and Bartholomew County, Indiana, and marketed the region’s strengths in automotive, pharmaceutical and other advanced manufacturing sectors along with emerging renewable energy and national security opportunities. More information on the community’s highly educated workforce, renowned living experience, and I-65 access to more than 1,000 acres of available land is available at http://www.ColumbusIN.org

Source: Columbus Economic Development Board



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