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Confluence Solar is landing in TN with 250 jobs and raising Venture capital for new operations
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This story updated Jan. 21, 2010, 11:50 a.m..: Employee target number is 250, instead of 400, which was an earlier reported figure. Also, Confluence is employee owned, and investors are not referred to as a 'parent company'.  Investment is projected at $200MM. Site is to be about 25 acres in Clinton park. -Ed.

The Bredesen Administration will announce another Solar coup tomorrow, with news that Confluence Solar will locate a 250-job manufacturing facility in Clinton, Tenn.

Confluence's U.S. operations are centered in Hazlewood, Mo., near St. Louis, and controlling interest in Confluence is held by Convexa Capital of Oslo, Norway, and other investors, listed later in this story. 

Confluence Vice President Diane Van Leuven confirmed for VNC this afternoon tomorrow's announcement, which had been long-anticipated by a number of VNC sources.

She also confirmed that the company has, in coordination with its parent company, begun outreach to potential investors to raise capital to advance a variety of operations, marketing and other functions.

Confluence may well be targeting, among others, the state's six new TNInvestco venture-capital funds, but it also is accustomed to casting its capital net far afield:  Confluence was founded in 2008 and is backed by Convexa Capital of Oslo, Norway, which led a $12.7 million investment round in the firm in 2008, according to the company Web site.  Industry publications indicate the round was an international affair, with Convexa joined by co-investors that included Korean materials company DC Chemical, Norway's Scatec Adventure, California venture-capital firm Oceanshore Ventures, and other investors.

The Confluence announcement will add to the string of solar pearls collected by during the Bredesen Administration's watch, and adds heft to Tennessee's claims to leadership in Solar and clean energies, generally.

Earlier successes have included recruitment of Hemlock Semiconductor to a megasite in Clarksville and Wacker Chemie to the Chattanooga area. The Bredesen Administration has also pushed ethanol production from switchgrass, creaed a Solar Institute and taken other initiatives.

Tomorrow, Gov. Phil Bredesen (left) will be joined in a Capitol press conference by Confluence Technical Advisor John DeLuca, as well as by Bredesen's Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Matt Kisber, and officials from the City of Clinton.

DeLuca once worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in nuclear materials research, and the Clinton site's proximity to Oak Ridge was a factor in the company's choosing Clinton over sites in other states.

Confluence CEO Tom Cadwell will not be present tomorrow, because he is on a business trip abroad.

Earlier reports on the much sought-after investment indicated Confluence might be taking as much as 25 acres in the Clinton/Interstate 75 Industrial Park, and the facility could cost $200 million to create.  Such details may be confirmed tomorrow.

Larisa Brass recently reported in the Knoxville News Sentinel that the land that will be Confluence's home was approved for sale by the Clinton City Council in November. ♦ 

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Tags: clean energy, Confluence Solar, Convexa, economic development, Hemlock Semiconductor, John DeLuca, Matt Kisber, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Phil Bredesen, Solar Institute, Tom Cadwell, Wacker Chemie

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