– Gov. Barbour joined officials from Stion, a venture-backed manufacturer of high-efficiency, low-cost thin-film solar panels, and local officials today for the company’s grand opening ceremony at its Hattiesburg production facility.In January 2011, Stion announced it was locating a solar panel manufacturing facility in the Sunbeam building in Hattiesburg. The project represents a company investment of $500 million and will create 1,000 jobs for area workers over the next six years. “I am proud to join Stion officials to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new production facility in Hattiesburg just nine months after they announced plans to locate in Mississippi,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “Stion recognizes the skilled, hard-working workforce in our state. I am proud that in six years’ time, 1,000 Mississippians will be producing Stion’s innovative thin-film solar panels in Hattiesburg.”“Our partnership with the state of Mississippi and the city of Hattiesburg has been a tremendous driving force behind our manufacturing scale-up,” said Chet Farris, chief executive officer of Stion. “The state’s proactive approach to economic development and its world-class manufacturing workforce have helped accelerate our build-out and strengthen the position of U.S. manufacturing in the global solar industry.”Stion initially will operate a 100-megawatt (MW) production line and will begin manufacturing its thin-film solar panels in the fourth quarter of this year in Hattiesburg. The facility will ramp up production throughout the early part of 2012. Stion has hired approximately 100 people at its Hattiesburg location and will employ an estimated 140 workers by the end of 2011.“I am pleased Stion found the ingredients for success in Mississippi, and I am proud that the Mississippi Development Authority was able to assist with this project,” said MDA Executive Director Leland Speed. “Stion is a great example of the types of businesses we are focused on recruiting to Mississippi – an innovative company engaged in advanced manufacturing with advanced materials. I wish the company many years of success in Hattiesburg.”Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Stion currently produces highly-efficient, low-cost thin-film solar panels in its state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot manufacturing and research and development facility in San Jose. The company was founded in 2006 and is backed by leading venture capital investors, including Khosla Ventures, VentureTech Alliance, Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures. For more information, visit www.stion.com.]]]]> ]]>See a typo? Report it here.