United Solar Ovonic Infrastructure
Greenville paves the way for 200 new jobs with roads and utilities for solar cell manufacturing plant.
United Solar Ovonic planned to construct a 50-megawatt solar cell plant in Greenville’s industrial park, with the possibility of adding five more in the future. The proposed plant would require additional sewers, water and roads, so Prein&Newhof was retained to design the necessary on- and off-site improvements.
The initial plant would provide 200 new jobs by the company and an estimated 363 indirect jobs. The solar cells produced in Greenville would be used in roofing systems to power buildings.
The manufacturing of the solar panels requires large quantities of exotic gases. The industrial park was designed with a private road through the middle of the park to allow for truck access to the “gas farms” where the gases could be safely unloaded away from the buildings. These farms were located along the center of the drive and between the plants to allow for two buildings to share one facility.
Another challenge was the storm water system, which consisted of a series of detention ponds with controlled outlets. The system was designed to accommodate all six potential plants. Because the manufacturing process creates significant heat and uses an enormous amount of cooling water in the case of emergency shut down, the ponds needed to accommodate this water as well.
Project of the Year (Environmental, Under $2 million) 2007 American Public Works Association, MI Section
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