AUSTIN-Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger issued the following announcement upon news that solar company SunPower will establish a new U.S. operations center in Austin, creating at least 450 jobs.
“SunPower bringing high-paying solar jobs to Texas is definitely something for which we can give thanks this holiday season. Texas has what it takes to be a national leader in solar power. We have the most solar radiation in the country, are home to the world’s largest supplier of solar-grade silicon, and are innovators in the high tech industry. But Texas hasn’t capitalized on our natural advantages and, as a result, other states are luring solar manufacturers away. Today’s announcement demonstrates that companies want to locate here and, with modest investments, we can land them. Thanks to Governor Perry and Mayor Leffingwell for making this deal happen. SunPower’s proposal makes clear that they could ‘grow to include additional employees…if a regional, Texas solar market develops to support these jobs’. This facility is a good step in the direction of the sun, but we need the Legislature to help stimulate the market through an incentive program. In 2009, the Texas Senate approved up to $1 billion in incentives over ten years to help Texans install solar on the roofs of their homes, businesses, churches and schools. This session, it’s time to seal the deal and truly embrace our solar future.”