COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio's existing strengths and significant potential in the solar industry are being showcased to an international audience at Solar Power International, North America's largest solar industry event. According to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment, Ohio's solar energy growth, especially in the photovoltaic industry, is evidence of the state's national leadership position and capability to easily transition to fulfill the jobs of the future.
Ohio leaders and representatives from the state's solar industry businesses will tell Ohio's story of solar energy success at the Solar Power International event, which takes place Oct. 27-29, 2009 in Anaheim California.
"Ohio is working to become a national and international leader in advanced energy initiatives including the solar industry; we want our advanced energy industry to have a global reach and a world-class supply chain," said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development. "Ohio's long history as a manufacturing leader shows that we have the workforce and expertise to succeed in the evolving manufacturing sector."
Northwest Ohio's historic strengths in the glass industry along with the world-class supply chain of manufacturers and systems integrators found throughout the state are a driving force supporting the state's solar industry growth. Companies such as Xunlight, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight into electricity, are tapping into the existing pool of skilled workers and creating job opportunities in the emerging solar industry. In 2008, Xunlight, which was one of 900 plus companies participating in the Solar Power International event, quadrupled its workforce from 20 to 80 employees.
"The state of Ohio has made significant and critical investment over the past decades, planting the seeds for today's opportunity," said Dr. Xunming Deng, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of Xunlight. "Some of the earlier investment made to Ohio's higher education institutions have proven to be very successful in building the foundation that is paving the way toward making the state a major manufacturing base for advanced energy products. Ohio has a chance to become the silicon valley of solar technologies."
One of the most significant initiatives supporting Ohio's advanced energy industry is the Ohio Third Frontier, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs. Since its inception, the program has created or commercialized more than 500 companies and has attracted $3.5 billion in private investment to Ohio, a 9:1 return on investment. Ohio's Third Frontier has already invested more than $100 million in advanced energy technology research and development since 2002, and is projected to provide $24 million in additional grants related to advanced energy in the coming year.
Converting research into commercial success is another key to Ohio's success. Programs such as the state's Edison Technology Centers and Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization initiative (PVIC), a collaboration between The University of Toledo, The Ohio State University (OSU) and Bowling Green State University, have been instrumental in advancing solar technology innovation.
"Business leaders in the advanced energy industry are realizing how, in Ohio, they're able to successfully build a business without sacrificing their personal life," Burghard said. "Business owners profit from the bottom-line benefits of better work:life balance for their employees. Ohio offers low-cost, low stress communities in a combination of micropolitan and metropolitan cities. This diversity provides executives and employees the resources and time to make any ambition achievable. Ohio truly is the state of perfect balance."
About the Ohio Business Development Coalition
The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. The OBDC provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information on business development or business relocation, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.
For more information on Solar Power International, visit www.solarpowerinternational.com.
SOURCE Ohio Business Development Coalition