G.E. ready to build the largest solar panel factory in the country

General Electric plans to select a location in about three months for a U.S. solar-panel plant that may be the country’s largest.

With the new facility, the total investment in the solar business will exceed $600 million, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE said today in a statement. The plant will employ about 400 people and power 80,000 homes annually.

The tipping point in expansion was boosting the efficiency of cadmium telluride-based thin film panels to a record 12.8 percent, said Victor Abate, who runs solar, wind and renewable energy units at GE, the world’s biggest provider of power- generation equipment. The increase is also a key factor in bringing down costs, he said.

“Before you scale, you have to be a technology leader,” Abate said in a telephone interview. “By reaching this milestone with the most efficient technology, we believe we’re ready to scale…”

GE became the world’s second biggest maker of wind turbines within a decade of its purchase of Enron Corp.’s operations following its 2002 bankruptcy. Abate said he thinks the company can build the solar business in a similar way…

GE expects to increase the efficiency of the panels, Abate said. “We’ve moved the efficiency from where we started investing with the team at PrimeStar at about four times the rate of the industry, and we expect to continue to do that…”

Solar photovoltaic system installations will almost double to 32.6 gigawatts by 2013 from 18.6 gigawatts last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. Manufacturing capacity worldwide has almost quadrupled since 2008 to 27.5 gigawatts, and 12 gigawatts of production will be added this year…

The decision on where to locate plant will be based on criteria including proximity to GE’s research centers, available factory space, and incentives from state and local governments. GE expects to make a decision before the end of the year, at the latest, Abate said.

I’m not surprised – and anyone who follows the scale of the industry shouldn’t be surprised either.

If Governor Bill was still in charge of New Mexico, we’d probably stand a chance at getting that factory. With our new Republican Susana running the state, we stand a better chance at manufacturing buggy whips and boot laces.

Team praised for letting opponents score

Ian Allison when he played for Arsenal

Boreham Wood FC have been praised for their immaculate sportsmanship after allowing an opposing team to score against them during a league match.

The Blue Square South team were playing away to Havant on Saturday when with nine minutes left the home side kicked the ball off the field so Boreham Wood’s injured player Sam Pearce could receive treatment.

The Wood’s Mario Noto received the ball from the resulting throw-in and kicked it back to the opposing goalkeeper from around the halfway line. But there was a problem: Noto made contact a little too well, and his ‘pass-back’ flew straight into the goal.

The strike had levelled the scores, so Boreham Wood manager Ian Allinson – a former Arsenal star – decided that for justice to be done he must order his men to let the opposition score unopposed from the kick-off.

Wes Fogden was the lucky Havant player who was able to walk the ball upfield and kick it into the net as Boreham Wood’s players stood by.

Havant finished 2-1 winners thanks to what their manager Shaun Gale called “a great gesture”, and Boreham Wood’s boss had no regrets about his decision.

I’d rather lose the correct way,” said Allinson, whose honourable actions have been hailed throughout the world of football.


Any sports/teams in your neck of the prairie where you could conceive of this happening?

Thanks, honorarynewfie