With Earth Day just around the corner, the message of renewable energy is being heard locally with the dedication of a solar panel manufacturing plant.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will attend the event with California Governor Jerry Brown at the Flextronics headquarters in Milpitas. Senator Joe Simitian, who represents Menlo Park, will also be in attendance.
As part of the event, the governor plans to sign into state law recent legislation requiring utility companies to increase their use of renewable sources each year, and set a target of one-third by the end of 2020. The current target is 20 percent.
The plan to build the solar panel manufacturing plant in Milpitas by partners SunPower and Flextronics, was announced on Earth Day last year with company executives, city officials and then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SunPower is position to receive millions in state and federal assistance for its first domestic manufacturing plant, including up to $24 million from a program through the U.S. Department of Energy. The plant is expected to create about 100 local "clean-tech" jobs.