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Toledo tries to reinvent itself with solar energy

Post Time:Jan 15,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:132

"Toledo is becoming the epicenter of America with the struggles of the Rust Belt. Toledo is trying to transform itself with things like solar energy. The sand in Lake Erie is what made Toledo such a great place to make glass. We hope we can reinvent ourselves, just like the Carolinas did with the textile industry," [said Tony Packo III, owner,Tony Packo's, a hot dog eatery in the Hungarian section of Toledo].

That is what is going on just a couple of miles away downtown at Pilkington North America, which manufactures and markets flat and safety glass. And Pilkington started a solar division two years ago. It is growing at more than a 40 percent clip annually.

The University of Toledo is also researching solar energy.

"With the demise of the 'Big Three,' so to speak, we realized we needed to cultivate new uses and new industries to target," said Stephen Weidner, Pilkington's vice president of sales. "Glass is unique because it is transparent. Generating electricity from the sun is taking some technology used in the computer industry, which is the use of semi-conductor materials. You need sunlight to activate that. Because [solar] products need to be exposed to the sun, they also need to be protected from the elements. And glass is perfect for that," according to a Jan. 15 report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/toledo-tries-reinvent-itself-with-solar-energyAuthor:

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