Clean Energy Inverter Plant Opens In Arizona

Will Phoenix, Arizona, rise from the ashes of the housing bubble on the wings of renewable energy? With the announcement that Power-One, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of power inverters for the renewable energy industry, has opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Phoenix, it seems as good a bet as any.

Governor Jan Brewer and Phoenix’s Mayor Phil Gordon were on hand to sign the front panel of the first central inverter produced at the facility, capable of handling 100 kilowatts of power. By year’s end, the manufacturing plant is expected to turn out enough such inverters to carry a combined 1 gigawatt of power. The total production capacity of the site is 4 gigawatts; at full production, the facility is expected to generate 350 green collar jobs.

photovoltaic solar power, SunShot

image via PG&E

Power inverters are a key element of the renewable energy market, as both wind and photovoltaic systems require such technology to turn harvested energy into a usable form of electricity. According to IMS Research, the global PV inverter market is expected to grow at compound annual rates of nearly 25 percent.

Why Phoenix? The company cited the region’s strong workforce, access to intellectual resources at Arizona State University, and strong support from Gov. Brewer, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Phoenix and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

“I have been consistently focused on ensuring Arizona is a magnet for business relocation, capital investment and a catalyst for the creation of new business and new jobs – and with the work of my Arizona Commerce Authority, we’re seeing tremendous results in the solar space,” said Gov. Brewer in a statement.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.