Contact: Dan Doyle
April 4, 2012
BRIDGEPORT—As a new state program begins providing assistance to small businesses all across Connecticut, State Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull) and Mayor Bill Finch toured the manufacturing facilities of SolarChange, LLC on Lenox Avenue in Bridgeport, the most recent company to benefit from the initiative.
“SolarChange will soon be expanding their business and hiring new employees right here in Bridgeport,” Senator Musto said. “Our focus in the legislature for the last year has been on job creation and business expansion, and the way that companies like this are benefitting shows that we are headed in the right direction. Connecticut can be a leader in the field of renewable energy by creating more these green, local jobs over the coming years.”
“We’re proud to have a green, forward thinking business like SolarChange in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch. “As I said during my speech to the business community last month, we must create jobs for Bridgeport to succeed. Today’s announcement is a great example of the green manufacturing jobs we are in need of in this city. I’d like to thank Senator Musto, Governor Malloy and the DECD for awarding this grant to SolarChange, giving them an opportunity to grow and hire more of our Bridgeport residents.”
Late last week, SolarChange was awarded a $100,000 matching grant and a loan of $250,000 by the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). The loan was made through the state’s Small Business Express Program, first established in a bipartisan Jobs Bill supported by Senator Musto in October of last year.
This state assistance will help SolarChange to expand its operations, move into a larger building, and create 31 new full-time jobs. Moreover, as SolarChange distributes its products through four other companies in Connecticut, the funding is anticipated to have a multiplier effect, generating additional installation and servicing jobs at other firms.
Founded in July 2010, SolarChange manufactures multiple solar energy products at its Bridgeport facility for both commercial and residential use.
“Applying for the Small Business Express Program was a very streamlined process geared toward companies like ours. The whole team at DECD was very helpful. Now we can get on to hiring as many as 20 new people over the next 60 days, and even more in the years ahead,” said Scott Hartzell, CEO of SolarChange.
For commercial buildings with an existing roof, the company’s Hybrid Can product provides 120 degree water for radiant heating and other uses, in addition to solar-generated electricity.
For residential buildings, SolarChange manufactures a prefabricated structural solar roof panel capable of covering part or all of a roof. It is available in both solar thermal and hybrid solar thermal/electric options.
In the near future, the company hopes to begin installing new residential roofs consisting entirely of these hybrid solar panels, at a cost comparable to a regular, non-powered roof.
“Constructing a roof for a new building typically costs about $50 per square foot. Customers who order our structured roof panels will get a complete green roof that provides heat and, optionally, electric power for the same price as a regular roof,” Mr. Hartzell.
State Senator Anthony Musto represents the 22nd District towns of Trumbull, Bridgeport and Monroe. He is Senate Chair of the Human Services Committee.
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