Sharp Solar Welcomes Influential Senator

For the first time since the facility’s ground breaking in 1981, Sharp Electronics Corporation welcomed Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to its solar manufacturing facility at Sharp Manufacturing Company of America (SMCA) in Memphis to applaud his work spearheading solar provisions included in the new energy bill.

Due to Senator Alexander’s efforts, the energy bill signed into law on August 8 includes solar tax credits and incentives that encourage residential and commercial solar use. These provisions will help create additional jobs in Memphis and will foster growth of the already-heated solar industry. “As the world’s leading producer of solar energy products and the U.S. market leader, Sharp’s Memphis manufacturing facility demonstrates how important Senator Alexander’s solar incentives are to Sharp’s long-term investment in solar energy, said Ron Kenedi, vice president, Solar Energy Solutions Group, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “We’re very pleased to celebrate the Senator’s work on the energy bill, which is symbolic of how progressive leadership can help create local jobs and further fuel a burgeoning industry by bringing solar energy into the spotlight and sparking consumer interest for solar energy systems.” “I believe the tax credits I introduced in the energy bill, which apply to Sharp’s plant, combined with the innovative work being done at Sharp, will help make Memphis the new solar energy jobs capital of the United States,” said Senator Alexander. Sharp began solar assembly operations in Memphis in October 2003 to meet the increasing demand for solar energy in the U.S. The solar manufacturing facility is assembling 162-, 167-, 170-, 175-, 185- and 208-watt solar panels for residential and commercial installations. By the end of 2005, Sharp will have increased the capacity of the plant by fifty percent to 60 MW. “This factory is a shining example of Sharp’s commitment to solar energy growth in the U.S. market, and is evidence of solar energy increasingly becoming a viable alternative for a variety of businesses and residences,” said Toshihiko Fujimoto, chairman and CEO, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “We look forward to growing this factory and we would like to thank the Senator for all of the work he has done to build a sustainable solar market in the United States by championing these solar incentives.” Sharp Electronics is the U.S. subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan. Sharp has expanded its solar cell production output to 400 MW worldwide (from 315 MW) per year to meet the burgeoning demand both in Japan and internationally.
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