Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Green Jobs

Welcome Back, Pittsburgh: FLABEG Brings 200 Green Solar Jobs to Steel City

FLABEG of Germany will open a new high-tech solar mirror factory near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh has been laying the groundwork for a high tech green jobs renaissance ever since its mighty steel mills shut their doors 30 years ago.  Now the payoff is coming.  FLABEG, the global specialty glass manufacturer, has just opened a solar mirror factory by Pittsburgh International Airport that will bring an estimated 200 jobs to the region, and perhaps as many as 300.


The new $30 million facility will initially focus on its core production line of parabolic curved solar mirrors.  Months before the plant opened it already received 700,000 orders, and FLABEG expects to reach a capacity of 1 million mirrors annually.

Untempered vs. Tempered Solar Mirrors

With an eye on possible future federal or state regulations governing standards for safety glass used in solar arrays, FLABEG has designed the new facility to produce high strength tempered solar mirrors if necessary, in addition to its core production line of untempered glass mirrors.  That’s erring on the side of caution, and it may not prove necessary after all.  FLABEG claims that its sag-bending process for untempered glass results in a more precise product that is able to withstand field conditions with a minimal breakage rate.  In field tests at the Nevada Solar One array, FLABEG’s untempered solar mirrors had a negligible breakage rate of only .027%.  There are 183,400 mirrors in the array and only 50 needed to be replaced over the course of three years.

Green Jobs and the Rust Belt

FLABEG based its decision to open a Pittsburgh solar mirror factory in based on several factors that could continue to feed more green jobs into the rust belt.  Like many rust belt cities Pittsburgh hosts world class universities, a skilled industrial workforce, and a lively urban cultural scene.  With European-based manufacturers like FLABEG squeezed for space, the U.S. solar market makes it a logical place to expand operations.  The deciding factor for FLABEG was Pittsburgh’s aggressive, long term policy commitment to shaking off an unsustainable industrial base that was largely based on energy from coal, and moving toward an economy based on a sustainable energy future – all backed up by an equally aggressive host state, Pennsylvania, which put up a $9 million sustainable energy grant for the new factory.

Image: brunkfordbraun on

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

This is Nextracker’s third new factory, adding to the company’s new Texas and Arizona factories announced in April and May, towards building 10 GW...

Green Economy

Originally published by North Carolina State University. By Matt Shipman Recent research suggests that communities that have seen steep reductions in manufacturing jobs are less...

Clean Transport

In Pittsburgh, the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) just chose to add six more of New Flyer's Xcelsior CHARGE electric buses to its...


A campaign has been launched to cut US transportation energy use by 50% by 2050. Audi of America President Scott Keogh and National Grid...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.