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Kyocera Putting First U.S. Solar Manufacturing Plant In San Diego

Kyocera International announced plans today to start manufacturing solar modules in San Diego. The expansion means up to 75 new jobs for the region.

Kyocera picked San Diego as the location of its first U.S. manufacturing site for solar panels.

Kyocera Solar President Steve Hill said the company's existing headquarters on Balboa Avenue in San Diego will be used to manufacture several types of solar modules.

"We also have solar module manufacturing operations in Tijuana, Mexico, just over the border and we have a management team that supports that operation and staff there that we thought we could utilize to get this operation in San Diego up quickly," said Hill.

Hill says California's Solar Initiative helps make the state ideal for a solar manufacturing plant.

The state recently doubled "net metering," which allows homes and businesses to earn credit for any excess solar power they generate.

Hill says that move also supports the growth of solar.

Kyocera's San Diego facility will be its only one in the United States. The company has solar facilities in Tijuana, Japan, China and the Czech Republic.

Hill said the company expects to start manufacturing solar modules in June.

More than 50,000 customers, including homeowners, businesses, schools, and cities, participate in net metering, collectively generating more than 500 megawatts of power.

One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 750 to 1,000 homes.

Kyocera's San Diego facility will be the only one in the United States. Along with the Tijuana plant, the company has solar plants in Japan, China and the Czech Republic.

Several businesses and colleges in San Diego County are now using solar installations manufactured by Kyocera.

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