Friday, November 11, 2005




Friday, November 11, 2005 NEW BUSINESS NEWS! Advent Plant to Employ 1,000 By Andrew Webb Journal Staff Writer Albuquerque-based Advent Solar will be the first corporate tenant at the massive Mesa del Sol development, where the photovoltaic-cell maker will build a manufacturing plant expected to employ 1,000 by 2010. The deal marks a milestone for the planned 12,000-acre, mixed-use community, which has been on the drawing board for two decades. Advent Solar also announced Thursday it has raised $30 million in venture capital, the largest such funding round in recent history. "This is a huge victory in terms of starting a solar industry in the state," New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said during a news conference in Gov. Bill Richardson's office in Santa Fe. Homans joined Richardson, Mayor Martin Chávez and other state, city and company officials to announce the deal. Advent, which was founded here in 2000, considered several locations for its 70,000-square-foot plant and research facility, including New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. A combination of city and state incentives, coupled with proximity to other solar resources, drove its decision to locate here, said Advent co-founder and CEO Rusty Schmit. "This is the best place for clean energy technology in the world," he said of New Mexico. South of the Albuquerque International Sunport, Mesa del Sol will be a mix of residential, industrial and retail space. Its developer, Ohio-based Forest City Covington, plans to begin early next year building its first 90,000-square-foot industrial and office building. Advent will be the building's first tenant, and expects to begin solar-cell production in the new facility in late 2006 or early 2007. Forest City Covington chief operating officer Michael Daly said the new building will be east of Journal Pavilion, at the north end of the development, along the new road currently under construction from I-25. Both facilities will be accessible from the new University Boulevard extension. State and city funds are picking up the tab for the road, in return for Forest City building the $4.5 million facility, which it will lease to Advent. "Mesa del Sol has been nothing but a dream for more than 20 years," said state Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons. He called Advent's planned plant a "launching pad" for future development there. At full capacity, Schmit said the plant would produce about 10 million solar cells per year, putting it on par with established photovoltaic manufacturers like Sharp and GE. Though they are still in the testing phase, Advent's solar cells and modules have the potential to be much less expensive than conventional solar technology, Schmit said. The company's photovoltaic cells are based on technology developed at Sandia National Laboratories. Unlike conventional solar cells, Advent's cells locate all electrical contacts on the back of the cell. Tiny holes drilled through the cells with lasers allow sunlight to reach the contacts. The process is not only cheaper— because it allows for more traditional electronics manufacturing techniques like those used for circuit boards— but it is more efficient. Though Europe currently produces and consumes more solar cells, Richardson said he hoped Advent would help shepherd some of that industry here. "New Mexico is going to become the fastest-growing renewable energy state," Richardson said at the news conference. The $30 million investment, which follows an $8 million investment made in late 2004, comes from numerous sources: Battery Ventures, FireLake Capital, EnerTech Capital Partners, @Ventures, the state of New Mexico, and a group of private individual investors from New Mexico and other states. The state's total investment in Advent is about $3.5 million. The investment is one of the largest venture capital deals in the state's history, though another firm, Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation, has raised hundreds of millions, some of which is from venture capitalists. Advent Solar plans to employ 1,000 in the next five years, as it hires administrative and sales staff, engineers and manufacturing technicians for the plant. The company, which now employs about 36 at its office and prototype production line in UNM's Science and Technology Park, plans to hire about 126 in its first year of operation at the new plant. Annual salaries will range from $23,000 to $94,000, with benefits, and state officials estimate the company will have a $35 million annual payroll within five years. During its first five years, state and local tax revenues from the firm are expected to exceed $60 million, the state said.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Classic Pueblo style architecture blends the warmth of traditional New Mexico with contemporary universal design in this spacious open floor plan. Exposed beams in the great room and a kiva fireplace add a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere, and the elegant granite kitchen provides a relaxing room for your family or for entertaining your guests. This home also has a fabulous master bath. WALLEN BUILDERS 4 bedrooms • 2 1/2 baths 2,464 sq. ft. • $247,900 Sunday, October 9, 2005 Parade Breaks the $2 Million Price Barrier Journal Staff Report The annual Homes of Enchantment Parade has never included a house priced at $2 million or more. This year, there are three of them. Seventeen others are listed for at least $1 million. "Cost of homes this year is higher than we've ever had," said Kaycee Coffman, director of communications for the Homebuilders Association of Central New Mexico. "(That's) pretty big for Albuquerque." Part of the reason, she said, is that the residential real estate market is still thriving. But the skyrocketing cost of building materials may be the greatest factor. There's a concrete shortage, steel has gone up, lumber costs have doubled, and "we're running out of land," Coffman explained. It all makes for a very expensive 15th annual parade, though there's no cost associated with viewing the houses. There are 93 on the tour, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 8-23. List prices range from $146,800 to $2.9 million. Participating houses are located across central New Mexico, including the East Mountains, Corrales, Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Placitas and Albuquerque, and were built by members of the HBA of Central New Mexico. Awards were presented Friday at the Marriott Pyramid North. Categories were for gold, silver, bronze, best kitchen, best bath, best remodel, universal design and urban revitalization. Below are the Gold Award recipients. Judges selected one house from each price category. The list prices provided here include land costs. To help readers locate the homes, numbers are listed in parentheses to coincide with a map number in a special section, "Parade of Homes," in today's Sunday Journal. Sunset West Homes (50), 1,635 square feet, $160,900 Bear Homes (18), 2,008 square feet, $275,900. Silverton Custom Homes (56), 1,963 square feet, $391,000. Elite Construction (55), 3,008 square feet, $590,000. Bealhen Construction (67), 2,924 square feet, $620,000. Harwell Custom Homes (87), 3,178 square feet, $535,000. Lee Taylor Luxury Homes (47), 2,989 square feet, $717,500. Sun Mountain Construction (35), 3,600 square feet, $700,000. High Mountain Homes (94), 3,000 square feet, $777,479. New Haven Homes (36), 3,774 square feet, $789,500. Bentley Custom Homes (80), 4,121 square feet, $1.1 million. Supple Homes (65), 4,817 square feet, $1.05 million. Sonoma Construction (61), 4,292 square feet, $1.25 million. Koinonia Architects & Builders (79), 7,000 square feet, $2.9 million. Cannaday Construction's house (60) won for both urban revitalization and best remodel. The 1950s ranch-style house lists at $254,000 and is open for viewing Oct. 14-16 only. Wallen Builders won among the 12 competing for the universal design award. It is given for building practices and design that make the home usable and navigable for people of all ages, sizes, abilities and physical limitations. Some common UD features are no-step entries, wider doors and lever door handles. The winning house (31) lists for $247,900 and has 2,464 square feet.

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