Solar company plans to open plant in Surprise - East Valley Tribune: West Valley

Solar company plans to open plant in Surprise

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:00 am | Updated: 10:06 am, Wed Feb 23, 2011.

Gestamp Solar Steel plans to open its U.S. manufacturing plant and headquarters in Surprise this summer, joining another solar manufacturing firm that has set up shop in the West Valley city to create jobs and spur greater economic development.

The Spain-based company, which produces steel structures in the development of large-scale solar energy projects, will construct a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Skyway Business Park, adjacent to the BNSF railroad, said Surprise officials.

With its move, Gestamp will create 50 permanent jobs — a total of 300 jobs at full build out — and 100 short-term construction jobs. A possible second phase could bring an additional 250 jobs to Surprise, the city officials said.

The company’s manufacturing facility will sit on 27 acres, northwest of the intersection of Peoria and Dysart roads. It will be next to Rioglass Solar, which manufactures mirrors for solar power plants. Rioglass also plans to set up shop in Surprise and will create 200 local jobs, city officials stated.

The Gestamp project, which was announced Tuesday afternoon at Surprise City Hall, featured remarks from Gov. Jan Brewer, Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome, Arizona Commerce Authority President Don Cardon and city officials.

The dignitaries praised the strategic investment that all parties believe will be a tremendous economic boon for Arizona, particularly at a time when the state looks for ways to improve and sell itself amongst other competing states during a tough economic environment.

“In Surprise, we know our success doesn’t stop at our borders. It’s a regional effort and has regional impact,” said Surprise Mayor Lyn Truitt, noting the governor has worked to promote Arizona as a hotspot for renewable energy and that the dedication has paid off.

Brewer said the arrival of Gestamp to Surprise is a “victory for Arizona” and another major step forward toward improving and enhancing the state’s economy. The company’s arrival also means creating a competitive edge against other nearby states, like California, Colorado and New Mexico, which Arizona competes against in the renewable energy sector.

“It means jobs for Arizona,” she said.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or

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