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      Dow Corning announces solar studies

      Dow Corning solar panels. / Mike Horne

      Dow Corning is brining 30 jobs to the area, and is studying how to make solar energy more affordable.

      The company held a Solar Day Monday to announce the construction of a Thomas Township plant that will manufacture monosilane gas- a key material used to manufacture thin-film solar cells. Dow Corning also unveiled a solar panel installation and Solar Discovery Center at its corporate headquarters in Midland.

      The Monosilane facility is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and will initially employ 30 people. It is expected to be completed in 2011.

      The solar installation at the headquarters features 136 solar panels and will produce approximatel y30 kilowatt-hours of power- the amount of electricity consumed by approximately 7 " 10 homes in one year. The solar installation serves as a testing ground for Dow Corning TMs silicone encapsulation solution.

      Dow Corning constructed a Solar Discovery Center adjacent to the installation featuring interactive displays to educate visitors about solar technology.

      For more information on the projects, visit

      *Above information provided by Dow Corning.