ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Schott Solar has formally dedicated its Albuquerque manufacturing plant -- the first in the world capable of producing both photovoltaic panels and solar thermal receiver tubes.
Company officials and state leaders see the plant as a model as the United States looks to expand renewable energy production.
The chairman of the board for German-based Schott AG, Udo Ungeheuer, says he's confident the U.S. can become a solar superpower with the help of companies like Schott, which are dedicated to improving and manufacturing technology aimed at tapping into the sun.
He says the U.S. is "a sleeping giant" in the potential for producing solar energy.
Schott Solar has hired 350 people and invested $100 million in Albuquerque's economy. Officials plan eventually to quadruple the plant and hire more workers.