The Washington State Department of Commerce and Port of Bellingham today announced that Silfab Solar, North America’s leading solar manufacturer, has committed to expanding its current operations on the Bellingham waterfront.
Silfab plans to invest at least $4 million to add more state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to address growing demand for its American-made ultra-high-efficiency premium monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) modules. Commerce provided a $250,000 economic development grant to the Port of Bellingham to assist the expansion. An estimated 20-40 new jobs are expected when the newest wave of production ramps up later this year.
“Clean electricity is the foundation of Washington’s clean energy economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Silfab’s leadership will help us build the cleanest energy grid in the nation and realize our goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.”
"Silfab remains committed to ongoing investments to improve product innovation and increase our footprint of quality manufacturing within the U.S.," said Paolo Maccario, CEO Silfab Solar. "Silfab supplies some of the best solar companies in the United States. This support from the state of Washington and Port of Bellingham will further increase Silfab’s solar production to deliver premium U.S.-made solar modules to meet our partners’ growing demand.”
“The transition to a low-carbon economy is a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “There is no trade-off between the environment and jobs. Clean technology and renewable energy are strengthening communities for the future, and we’re delighted that Silfab, a world leader in solar manufacturing, has chosen to grow in Washington state.”
"The Port of Bellingham is thrilled to see continued job growth and investment in the Waterfront District’s clean tech innovation hub," said Port Commission President Michael Shepard. "Silfab’s expansion is a great example of collaboration between the local governments, the private sector and higher education to bring sustainable economic development to Whatcom County."
Whatcom County -- the Bellingham waterfront in particular -- is a developing hub for clean energy research, innovation and manufacturing. Current partners include the Western Washington University Institute for Energy Studies, offering the first degree in energy studies in the state. Silfab is also contracted with the University of Washington Clean Energy Test Beds for testing of its new U.S.-made products to be exported around the world.