The “green and growing” slogan on the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce Web site denotes the area’s Irish heritage, but it’s taking on a new meaning these days.
Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Monday a major player in the solar industry is moving its North American headquarters to Dublin, investing $30 million and hiring 350 people over the next five years.
MAGE SOLAR GMBH, based in Ravensburg, Germany, will be moving into the Rockwell Automation building on Industrial Boulevard, said Cal Wray, vice president of the Dublin-Laurens County Economic Development Authority.
“We’ve been working on this for five months,” Wray said Monday. “They’re looking at being in operation by the end of the year.”
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Wray said the company already has started hiring, and people interested in employment can contact the state Department of Labor office in Dublin, 103B Mercer Drive, (478) 274-7676.
MAGE SOLAR GMBH, a division of MAGE GROUP, markets high-grade photovoltaic modules, high-performance branded inverters and mounting systems used in the solar energy industry. The operation also will be the only company in the state to manufacture solar panels, according to a news release from Perdue’s office.
Divisions at the Dublin plant will include engineering and integration solutions for solar parks and building installations. The company also plans to build an academy for solar education in the area.
“We are excited to partner with our new friends at MAGE SOLAR and help them achieve the highest levels of success in the solar panel industry,” Guy Cochran, chairman of the Dublin-Laurens development authority, said in the news release. “This company will provide immediate job opportunities for many of our citizens who have personally experienced this tough economy.”
Rockwell Automation, which announced plans to close its Dublin plant last year, is still operating out of the building MAGE SOLAR will occupy.
Wray characterized the 190,000-square-foot facility as “plug and play” for MAGE SOLAR.
“It will be a seamless transition,” he said. “No retrofit is needed. It’s a perfect fit for their business.”
In the news release, Perdue said he’s pleased to welcome MAGE SOLAR to Georgia.
“MAGE gives us the opportunity to expand our leadership position and industry competitiveness in the renewable energy sector,” he said.
“The growth of renewable energy is important to our state and nation, so I believe MAGE SOLAR will be successful for years to come in Dublin.”
Norbert Philipp, CEO of MAGE SOLAR GMBH, said in the release that the company has “found the perfect home ... based on the excellent infrastructure, impressive work force known for its productivity, integrity and skill, as well as a keenly business oriented leadership, who during the whole process also never lost focus of what is best for the future of Georgia, Laurens County and the city of Dublin.”