Solar unit plant possible for area By Christian Schmidt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2005

VIDALIA &8212; A rubber plant may not be the only new industry coming to Vidalia.

Mayor Hyram Copeland said Crosspoint Group Inc. and the town have been negotiating to build a plant in Vidalia to make Crosspoint&8217;s portable solar energy units and other products.

The town has also had interest from several other companies, Copeland said.

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&8220;The last few weeks we have had more interest from industrial prospects than in any time in my administration,&8221; Copeland said. &8220;Given the cost of fuel and other gas products, this is a really interesting prospect.&8221;

Crosspoint manufactures and distributes clean energy technology, including photovoltaic cells and solar energy products.

The portable solar energy units provide electricity to buildings, lessening or eliminating the need for electricity from other sources. Several patents held by Crosspoint have lowered the cost of solar energy products considerably, Copeland said.

The Vidalia facility would be a 40,000 square foot plant employing 40 to 60 technical staff workers at an average salary of about $30,000, according to a letter from Crosspoint president Donald Rex Gay.

Final plans for the plant will probably not be approved for another 90-120 days, Copeland said.