Digital News Report – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined SunPower Corporation and Flextronics in Milpitas to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and announce that SunPower has partnered with Flextronics and will locate its new manufacturing operations in California. SunPower’s decision, based largely on California’s nation-leading green policies and recent actions to incentivize families and businesses to invest in renewable energy, is expected to add over 300 jobs to the company’s California workforce.
“I can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to highlight action that is good for both California’s environment and its economy. SunPower is not only enabling homes and businesses to conserve energy and save money by going solar, they are also creating jobs at a time when they are needed most,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our state’s nation-leading green policies are encouraging nation-leading green businesses to ramp up investment in California.”
“We commend Governor Schwarzenegger and our state and federal leaders for creating the long-term stability and visibility we need in the solar market to open this facility,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “The Governor’s leadership on the California Solar Initiative, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, incentives for green manufacturing equipment and AB 32 provide us with the confidence to further invest in our home state. We look forward to working with the city of Milpitas to bring back manufacturing jobs and generate new economic opportunity in Silicon Valley, where SunPower was founded 25 years ago.”
Bolstering California’s green economy is a top priority for Governor Schwarzenegger and he has taken recent action to encourage innovative green-tech companies such as SunPower to invest, stay and expand in California. On March 24, the Governor signed SB 71, by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), creating a sales tax exemption for the purchase of green-tech manufacturing equipment in California. The targeted sales tax exemption, a part of the Governor’s California Jobs Initiative, will not cost the state tax dollars; it will increase revenue by expanding the number of clean technology manufacturing companies with sites in California. Also, on February 26, the Governor signed AB 510 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), legislation that raises the net energy metering requirement from 2.5 percent to 5 percent, ensuring home and business owners continue to invest in solar power. And yesterday, the Governor signed SB 77 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica) to establish the statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy Reserve Program that will lower financing costs for businesses and residences in California to make energy improvements through retrofits. This legislation will help increase energy efficiency, lower energy costs for consumers and create more than 10,500 jobs according to Senator Pavley.
California’s long-term environmental vision and nation-leading green policies have encouraged over 10,200 green-tech companies to make California their home. Many of the most significant state policies have been implemented by Governor Schwarzenegger. Some of the most notable are:
- Million Solar Roofs Initiative: The Governor’s $2.9 billion incentive plan for home and building owners who install solar electric systems, now known as the California Solar Initiative, will lead to one million solar roofs in California by the year 2018, provide 3,000 megawatts of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons.
- Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32): AB 32 established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The law will reduce carbon emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020.
- Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): Governor Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020.
- Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): California’s LCFS requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in the state, dramatically expanding the market for alternative fuels. To start, the LCFS will reduce carbon content in all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by at least 10 percent by 2020 and more thereafter.
- Automobile Emissions Standards: After years of fighting the federal government for the authority to implement our greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted California’s waiver and the Obama Administration adopted it for the country.