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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Milwaukee solar manufacturer lands huge contract and added financing

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Helios Solar Works was awarded an additional $150,000 in financing for the purchase of robotic manufacturing equipment at its factory in the Menomonee River Valley.

Helios, which began production in February, was initially awarded a $500,000 by the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., a business lender affiliated with the city of Milwaukee, but the size of the company’s investment in robotic equipment has increased. MEDC’s loan and finance committee awarded more funding on Tuesday. . . .

Steve Ostrenga, Helios chief executive, said the increase resulted from higher costs for robotic equipment used in the production of solar panels that it says are more efficient than competitors’ panels. . . .

Ostrenga has just won its largest order to yet for solar panels, Ostrenga said.

“We just landed a 1-megawatt order,” he said. “That’s huge, so we’re making that right now.”

The 1 megawatt order is part of a 5-megawatt solar project that is expected to be one of the largest single solar projects in Europe, he said.

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