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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wausau vies for 600 solar jobs

From an article by Jake Miller in the Wausau Daily Herald:

A California-based energy company is interested in building a manufacturing plant in the Wausau area, adding about 600 jobs in a part of the economy that was especially hit hard by the recession.

W Solar Group, which will move its headquarters to Dane County this year, has narrowed its search for where to build its plant to several Wisconsin cities. A company spokesman said Wausau has several factors that make it appealing.

"It's a very good spot as it relates to a supply chain, geography, transportation," said Evan Zeppos, spokesman for W Solar Group. "It has a well-known reputation for having a good work force, and it's certainly very high on the quality-of-life scale."

W Solar has not finalized where it will build the manufacturing plant, and Zeppos declined to provide a list of cities Wausau is up against. Local officials, however, said Eau Claire is Wausau's biggest competition.
W Solar, founded in 2009 in Chatsworth, Calif., has an efficient technology that lets it produce solar panels on a large scale at a lower cost than its competitors.

If W Solar ultimately selects the Wausau area, the jobs could provide a huge boost to Marathon County's manufacturing sector, which has lost about 2,500 of its 17,700 jobs since December 2007, according to state data.

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