April 6, 2010

CBS News

Governor Schwarzenegger Tours Sunnyvale Solar Cell Firm

CBS News -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attended a Tuesday morning ribbon-cutting ceremony at a Sunnyvale solar cell company, where he highlighted a new law that creates a sales tax exemption for the purchase of green-tech manufacturing equipment.

Schwarzenegger last month signed SB 71, a bill he said will expand the state's clean tech industry and create green jobs.

At Tuesday's ceremony, Schwarzenegger said all manufacturing equipment in California should be exempt from sales tax to allow the state to compete with other states. He said California is one of only three states that tax manufacturing equipment.

Calisolar is a solar energy startup that is expanding its site in Sunnyvale from a 60-megawatt to a 200-megawatt facility, and is one company that would benefit from the new law, said Andrea McCarthy, a spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger.

Bret Adams, a spokesman for Calisolar, said the law will help the company expand and create up to 150 new jobs in the next year.

'All of our competitors are foreign and this helps us get closer to a level playing field,' Adams said. 'We have plans to expand to 200 megawatts and this will help us achieve that.'

Schwarzenegger said Calisolar recently hired several former employees of Fremont's now-shuttered NUMMI, or New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., plant.

'SB 71 will send a clear message to every CEO, every innovator and entrepreneur, that if you invest and if you do something that has to do with the clean and green future of California, California will invest in you,' the governor said.

Calisolar is located at 985 Almanor Ave. in Sunnyvale.