By JACK WEATHERLY
Seraphim Solar USA seeks to double its work force at its Jackson plant.
The plant, which started production of solar panels in February 2016, now employs about 30.
Approval by two “major residential solar finance companies for their installer networks,” Sungage Financial and Sunnova, has opened the door for expansion of the plant, the Houston-based manufacturer said in a release.
“As a result, installers across he country can now offer Seraphim USA modules to their customers as part of their home solar financing packages,” the release said.
Steve Ostrenga, vice president of sales, said in an interview that the 80,000-square-foot facility at 3111 Lawson St. in west Jackson is looking to add as many as 35 employees.
The company announced in July 2015 that it would eventually employ 250. In a February interview, production manager Jake Pixler said the company was beginning to ramp up production.
The city of Jackson said in 2015 that it was “partnering” with Seraphim in a $50 million project, though efforts to get the city to reveal its part of the partnership have been unsuccessful.
Seraphim said that its payroll could rise to $7.3 million by meeting that goal. That would be an average of $29,200 per employee.
In February, Pixler said that one line was being operated at about 20 percent capacity. Eventually, there would be six lines with about 40 persons per line, he said.
Ostrenga said in the release that “we’re shipping as fast as we can make them.” The precision machines in the plant are automated but need operators. The panels are assembled at the plant from cells made overseas, Pixler said.
Ostrenga acknowledged “uncertainty clouding some parts of the U.S. solar manufacturing community,” but added that “developers and installers who want top-quality, U.S.-made products are looking to us as a reliable and bankable supplier.”
Business Insider reported recently that rooftop solar installation rose 66 percent in 2015 from the previous year but the growth rate dropped to 19 percent in 2016 and has continued to drop in 2017.
Those interested in working for Seraphim can send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.