This Tuesday will usher in one of the most important weeks of the year for the solar industry as Solar Power International (SPI)2011 lights up the Los Angeles Convention Center in for the first of three days. And when the convention commences, representatives from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state electric utility APS, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and leaders from several other Arizona cities will be there, working to highlight a number of statewide initiatives that have played a pivotal role in creating a solar manufacturing industry ripe with new, clean energy jobs throughout the desert state.

One such program sure to be discussed is the state’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentives Program that offers two main benefits to companies willing to open manufacturing plants in Arizona: a refundable income tax credit of up to 10 percent and a reduction on real and personal property taxes of up to 75 percent.

The program has already reeled in five new manufacturing centers in its first year, with two more set to open its doors this month. One will be a Suntech photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing center, and the other will be a Power-One inverter manufacturing plant.

Together, the new facilities have created hundreds of clean energy jobs and, according to officials deep within the Arizona solar industry like Bennett Curry of the ACA, have made Arizona a global solar energy leader in terms of installed capacity and manufacturing centers:

“We take our position as a global leader in solar energy seriously and we are aggressively working to retain and advance our leadership in this important growth industry.”

Other states have begun to take note of Arizona’s successful incentive plan to attract clean manufacturing facilities. Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order that eliminated the state’s personal property tax and real property tax for renewable energy facilities.

Strickland saw an immediate return, as the new order helped to convince two Spanish solar manufacturers to build plants in Ohio, where they’ll employ Ohioans to make panels for a 49.9-megawatt (MW) solar plant in the state’s southeast region. Arizona representatives will be at booth #3000 at SPI.

Source: Get Solar.