A California-based solar energy company is moving some of its operation to northern Michigan. GlobalWatt is closing shop in Saginaw, but its equipment to make solar panels is headed to Manistee County where it's expected to result in a handful of jobs.
Alan O'Shea is working on a deal to assemble GlobalWatt solar panels in Copemish. He says GlobalWatt couldn't compete on a large scale because China is dumping subsidized panels into the U.S. market.
"China is burying us in product," he says. "Burying us."
But O'Shea thinks he can still compete in a smaller market, especially with a product made in Michigan. He says his building supply business sold twice as many of the GlobalWatt panels last year as it did the year before, and he thinks he can build on that.
"And I have a lot of faith in northern Michigan. I believe that we as a company know how to build product at a reasonable tight margin and still make a profit," he says.
O'Shea is still working out a legal agreement with GlobalWatt, but he expects to begin building the panels by spring, hiring as many as ten people over the course of the year.