Solar plant good news for Gwinnett

In these tough economic times, good business news is hard to come by. But the state and Gwinnett County got a boost this week with the opening of the South's first solar cell manufacturing plant.

The company, Suniva, is located in Norcross on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. It is not only bringing jobs to the county, but the right kind of jobs - green ones, 100 expected to be added to the community by the end of 2009.

It is a major development for both the state and the county, and it brought Gov. Sonny Perdue to Thursday's ribbon cutting.

"This is a big deal," Perdue said. "This is not just a commercial venture. This has the capacity to solve one of mankind's greatest issues, which is sustainable energy without pollution."

The Norcross plant produced its first solar cell in October, and company officials say they hope to boost production to 20,000 cells per day. Suniva has already ordered equipment for a second line.

According to officials, the company puts the state in good position for a possible surge in green energy policies that might come with a new administration. That's good news for Georgia and good news for Gwinnett.

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