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PowerLight establishes its European headquarters in Geneva

5 July 2006

PowerLight Corporation is a leading global provider of large-scale solar power systems, delivering unmatched experience and proven financial performance to commercial, public sector and residential customers. Since 1995, PowerLight's industry-leading products, technologies and services have enabled its customers to maximize clean energy output along with project savings. Today, PowerLight designs, deploys and operates the largest solar power systems in the world through market-leading innovation and exceptional customer service.

The company has decided to set up its European Headquarters in Geneva to manage the growing development of its activities on the continent. This new addition represents an asset for the Geneva area from the point of view of growth of the economic activities, in conjunction with sustainable development.

PowerLight, a U.S.-based company, is the largest producer of large-scale solar power systems for companies and organizations, and solar power plants, such as the 10 megawatt Bavaria Solarpark. This sphere of activity is growing rapidly; many companies are evaluating their policies and choosing to invest in renewable energy sources.

The company will operate its European business from the new base in Geneva, principally to develop new markets in the southern Europe (i.e. Spain, Italy and Portugal, which have a high amount of sunshine and a correspondingly good profitability potential for solar power), while continue to target Germany, which alone represents the largest market in the world. PowerLight's recent breakthroughs on the European continent, notably the current contract to build the world's largest solar power plant in Serpa (Portugal), confirm the importance of this market.

Marco Northland, General Manager for European Operations, noted: «Geneva was selected because of its accessibility with respect to the principal markets in Europe and of the exceptional quality of life that the canton offers. The Swiss tax conditions were also considered in the choice of the venue.» He also indicated that Geneva's cosmopolitan and international spirit played an important role in the company's decision. Lastly, the proximity of well-known training institutes such as IMD and EPFL were another plus for PowerLight, which intends to recruit intensively on the local labor market. The company is now located on Avenue Cardinal Mermillod in central Carouge and counts on employing a local workforce of around 20 persons by 2006-2007.

Pierre-François Unger, Minister of economy and health, noted that «the arrival of PowerLight reinforces Geneva's position in the area of renewable energies and sustainable development in the larger sense. This high-added-value company with an equally high technological level will dispose of favorable conditions in Geneva. Indeed, the important presence of well-known research institutions, international organizations, NGOs and other companies involved in energy technologies will help strengthen PowerLight's position.»

Geneva's economic development office supported the company's establishment. «The Office assisted PowerLight by facilitating the search for office space, requests for permits and clarifying work legislation. We also convincingly demonstrated Geneva's specific advantages for a firm such as PowerLight. Lastly, the Office helped it to join up with a local network of specialists in the same field», said Pierre Jaquier, head of Geneva's Economic Development Office.
PowerLight (french version)