Solar panel maker has Dayton in its sights


The maker of special solar panels designed for roads, driveways and sidewalks is leaning toward building his company’s first large-scale factory in the Dayton area.

Scott Brusaw, a University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College graduate, as well as co-founder of Sandpoint, Idaho-based Solar Roadways, is meeting with Montgomery County economic development officials Friday at E-Mek Technologies in Dayton, which supplies Brusaw’s company with printed circuit boards.

RELATED: Fuyao increasing market share as auto industry slows

Brusaw said he is considering other locations. But in an interview Friday, he and his science director said locating in Dayton would put their company closer to its suppliers and customers — and would feel like returning “home.”

Brusaw said his PCBs come from Dayton, his solar cell components are made in Franklin and his T-Channel connectors come from Columbus.

RELATEDIndiegogo project wants to replace roads with solar panels

The modular pavement panels can warm up to melt snow and ice on contact and are embedded with LED lights that can be configured to create lanes and direction symbols. The panels are said to last 20 years.

The company is noteworthy on the Web for having launched in 2014 an Indiegogo fund-raising campaign that as of now has more than doubled the company’s early goal of $1 million.

Its You Tube video, “Solar Freakin’ Roadways,” has gone viral with more than 22 million views.

“Right now, we have a product, we know how to make it,” Brusaw said. But with current capacity, the company can make only three panels a day, he said.

The factory he has in mind would produce 1,000 panels a day with 50 to 100 workers initially.

“We need to roll out the mass production … We want to roll this out as fast as possible,” Brusaw said. Ideally, he would like to start this year.

“We’re talking about building a factory, starting shipping, starting the building of products,” said Jeff Harris, vice president of sales for E-Mek, which has 100 workers making circuit boards its Webster Street location.

Alyssa Delbridge, Solar Roadways director of science, said anchoring production in Ohio makes sense.

“We can save ourselves so much money and so much time if we have everything to make these panels in one location,” she said.

Brusaw said he is considering other locations, without saying where. But asked where he is leaning, the former Huber Heights resident said: “Here.”

“It would be kind of nice to be able to come back,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Springfield-based EF Hutton settles lawsuit over pay dispute
Springfield-based EF Hutton settles lawsuit over pay dispute

EF Hutton has settled a lawsuit filed by a former board member, ending a year-long dispute after the man claimed the company failed to pay him for his work and violated an agreement to make him president. Terms of the agreement between Dennis White and EF Hutton weren’t disclosed. Records from U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania show the case...
Amazon reported to sign new location for warehouse near airport
Amazon reported to sign new location for warehouse near airport

Amazon is reported to have signed a lease for a location near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The e-commerce giant, which has been rapidly expanding its footprint around Ohio and across the country, signed a lease on Sept. 17 for the 264,000-square-foot building in Hebron at the LogistiCenter industrial park, according to a...
Amazon filling thousands of Ohio holiday jobs; could become permanent
Amazon filling thousands of Ohio holiday jobs; could become permanent

Online shopping giant Amazon will hire people to fill more than 120,000 jobs nationwide this holiday season. Around 3,000 of those season jobs will be filled at locations in Ohio. Jobs available include positions in fulfillment centers, sortation centers and customer service sites, according to Amazon. RELATED: Dayton, Cincy team up to lure Amazon&rsquo...
5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run
5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Saving money often involves finding a way to pay less for something that you want or need. But sometimes the old adage about being "penny wise, pound foolish" applies, as the cheaper way out can end up costing you. For certain purchases, spending more money up front can help you save in the long run. Trying to save a few dollars per lightbulb...
Fuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote
Fuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote

The National Labor Relations Board’s Cincinnati office is starting the process of looking at whether to schedule a vote for about 1,500 Fuyao Glass America workers on whether to join the United Auto Workers (UAW). The union isn’t saying how many signatures of Fuyao workers petitioning for a union representation election have been...
More Stories