It's being called the largest solar mirror plant in the world and it opened yesterday in Findlay Township...not far from Pittsburgh International Airport. The $30 million dollar facility will produce parabolic mirror which will capture the sun's rays and convert the energy into electricity. Axel Bucholz, CEO of Flabeg GbmH of Germany, says the solar power will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The plant currently employs 50 and is expected to begin producing the mirrors early next year. Officials at the corporation's subsidiary, Flabeg Solar U.S., expect the workforce to increase to 200 next year and 300 in 2011.
Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Dennis Yablonsky says Flabeg's long history as an automotive mirror manufacturer in the region made it "well acquainted with our region’s authenticity, adaptiveness and its skilled and motivated workforce. These assets, along with the region’s improved business climate regarding corporate net income tax and 2,000 acres of pad-ready sites helped Flabeg make the decision to locate its solar energy business where it already had strong roots: in Pittsburgh."
Although the solar mirrors will be made in the Pittsburgh region, they will likely be used in sunnier climes such as in southwestern states.