Energy Secretary Steven Chu toured Sharp Electronics Corporation’s solar manufacturing facility in Memphis, Tennessee last week. According to an article on the Energy.gov blog following his visit, the plant has produced more than 2 million solar panels since 2002. Also, due to the positive response for more solar power from both the public and private American sectors, Sharp has increased its staff from 300 to 480 employees over the last year.
In addition, with the aid of federal incentives, the company has grown its production capacity at its Memphis plant from 60 megawatts a year to 140 megawatts of solar paneling, enough to power more than 140,000 average sized U.S. homes.
“We are honored to welcome Secretary Chu to Sharp’s solar panel manufacturing plant in Tennessee,” said Kozo Takahashi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sharp Electronics Corporation prior to his arrival. “Sharp has seen strong growth in demand for solar electricity and in turn we have steadily increased output and job creation, making our factory a perfect venue to amplify President Obama’s top renewable energy priorities for the country.”
While at Sharp’s facility, Secretary Chu toured Sharp’s solar panel manufacturing operation and discussed President Obama’s energy initiatives as laid out in his State of the Union Address on January 25. During his address, the President called for 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035.