United Solar Hosts Grand Opening at New Manufacturing Facility in Ontario, Canada

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. and LASALLE, Ontario, May 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (Nasdaq:ENER), the global leader in flexible, lightweight solar products and systems, announces that it will host a grand opening ceremony today at its new manufacturing facility at 6135 Morton Industrial Parkway in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. With this project, United Solar is deploying $8MM USD of capital equipment and investing an additional $4MM USD in facilities improvement and equipment relocation for a total investment at the LaSalle plant of $12MM USD.

The event, which will take place at 1:30 p.m., will welcome Jay Knoll, Interim President, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD); The Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Energy and MPP for Scarborough Centre; The Honourable Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development & Trade and MPP for Windsor West; His Worship Ken Antaya, LaSalle Mayor; and Bruce Crozier, MPP, Essex.

"United Solar's investment is moving Ontario forward as a clean energy leader as we are becoming a destination point for renewable energy projects and manufacturing," said The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy. "Projects like this are helping Ontario replace dirty, smog-producing coal, create thousands of jobs and leave a healthier future for our children and grandchildren."

The Honourable Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said, "Today's announcement is further evidence that Ontario's clean energy industry continues to build momentum. Our feed-in tariff program is attracting international companies to our province and creating jobs for Ontario families."

United Solar will manufacture its proprietary thin-film solar laminates in the 7,000 square meter facility specifically for sale in the Ontario market. The plant will have an initial annualized capacity of 15 megawatts, but will be designed with the ability to quickly ramp to 30 megawatts once higher market demand is established. The opening of this manufacturing plant will result in the hiring of up to 80 people.

"I am very pleased to welcome United Solar to the Windsor-Essex region and congratulate them on this very exciting day. Today's opening of United Solar's manufacturing facility in LaSalle continues to position the Windsor-Essex region as a leader in solar technology and manufacturing," said Lindsay Boyd, Chairperson of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation.

"United Solar is excited to celebrate the expansion of our manufacturing base across the Detroit River into the Windsor-Essex region," said Jay Knoll, Interim President of Energy Conversion Devices. "We are grateful for the assistance of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and the government of the Province of Ontario in our decision to build out this facility. We believe in the potential for solar energy in Ontario and look forward to many years of success in this market."

About Energy Conversion Devices/United Solar

Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) (Nasdaq:ENER), through its United Solar subsidiary, is a global leader in building-integrated and rooftop photovoltaics. The company manufactures, sells and installs thin-film solar laminates that convert sunlight to clean, renewable energy using proprietary technology. ECD's UNI-SOLAR® brand products are unique because of their flexibility, lightweight, ease of installation, durability and real-world efficiency. The company also designs, manufactures and installs rooftop photovoltaic systems, which enable customers to transform unused rooftop space into a value-generating asset. In addition, ECD's Ovonic Materials Division is the pioneer in NiMH battery technology, and is developing low cost fuel cells, hydrogen production from bioreformation, and hydrogen storage technologies. For more information, please visit energyconversiondevices.com.

CONTACT: United Solar Contact: Wendy Ventura, Manager Marketing Communications United Solar (248) 299-6064 pr@uni-solar.com Windsor-Essex Contact: Lana Drouillard, Director Marketing/Communications WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (519) 259-9600 ldrouillard@choosewindsoressex.com LaSalle Contact: Kevin Miller, Chief Administrative Officer Town of LaSalle (519) 969-7770 ext. 225 kmiller@town.lasalle.on.ca