Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Solar Company Bring 20-40 Jobs to Ohio

TecnoSun Solar Systems AG, a German company that makes mounting systems for solar panels, plans to bring 20 to 40 jobs to Toledo in the next two years when it opens an office at the University of Toledo.

Peter Fischer, the company's chief executive, signed a one-year lease Thursday to open a 1,390-square-foot office at UT's Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex. The facility will serve as the North American headquarters for TecnoSun, which plans to hire a CEO for the Toledo office within six weeks.

The company has an option to expand its office space by 1,039 square feet, as well as to extend its lease for at least two more years.

TecnoSun makes solar panel supports, called "trackers," that let panels follow the sun's path through the sky, maximizing their power output. The company will use northwest Ohio manufacturers to make its products in the United States.

UT President Lloyd Jacobs said TecnoSun fits with the university's goals to foster solar innovation in metro Toledo.

"We are building the supply chain," he said.

At a press conference Thursday, Mr. Fischer said the start-up company had considered locating its U.S. office in California. However, the firm selected Toledo after meeting in January with UT officials at the World Future Energy Summit, an alternative energy conference held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The firm was attracted to Toledo's skilled work force, access to highways and railways that would allow shipping throughout North America, and proximity to solar power research being conducted by UT and other local firms, Mr. Fischer said.

"I became convinced it would be worthwhile to think about," he said of how UT's presentation swayed his consideration of Toledo.

Mr. Fischer declined to discuss sales for TecnoSun, which launched in August and has 20 employees in Germany.


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