Chamber VP Says Solar Will be a “Major Part” of Region’s Economic Future

First Solar, located in the Greater Toledo Region, broke ground this month on a project expected to become what has been described as “the largest solar factory, by capacity, in the Western Hemisphere.”

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And that, says Toledo Chamber Vice President Brian Dicken, represents “a strong vote of confidence in Toledo as a major U.S. hub for advanced technology solar manufacturing."

The $400 million plant in Lake Township, slated to reach full capacity in 2019, will bring 500 new jobs to the Toledo region.  

It also points the way to an essential element in the region’s future prosperity, Dicken says. "For northwest Ohio, researching, developing, and producing the next generation of solar technology is a major part of our economic future," he said.

Ohio currently ranks 11th in the nation for solar energy jobs, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)—with an estimated 5,831 Ohioans employed in the industry in 2017. This reflects people engaged in solar installation as well as the manufacturing of solar technologies.

In Ohio, an estimated $529 million has been invested in the growing industry to date--$53 million in 2017 alone, according to SEIA. One reason for this growth: The price of solar energy has declined 53 percent over the past five years.

Read more in Toledo Blade