Michigan – Dow’s solar powerhouse

Dow Chemical picked its corporate base – Midland, Michigan – to build its first full-scale production facility for its Powerhouse Solar Shingle product, which, according to the state of Michigan, could bring more than 1,200 jobs to the state by 2014. Staffing is anticipated to begin in late 2010.

Dow estimates sales potential for its new solar shingles of around $5bn by 2015 and $10-11bn by 2020. The products are expected to be available in limited amounts by mid-2010 and projected to be more widely available in 2011 as production scale up begins.

The solar shingles, which are made of low-cost, thin-film CIGS (copper indium gallium deselenide) photovoltaic cells, can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingle materials. Dow said their solar shingles in a home would typically offset between 40-80% of power usage (2-4 kilowatts).

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is currently considering up to $140 million in economic incentives for the new plant. Dow said it has already invested $100 million in the technology since its inception in 2007.

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