Guardian Industries banks on solar panel mirror production

Guardian Industries has made its money through glass, particularly building and automotive glass, over many years and done so quite successfully. Now the Auburn Hills firm is placing its bet on solar technology and expects it will pay big dividends soon.

Over the last 4-5 years, Guardian has been developing and manufacturing mirrors used in high-powered solar panels, allowing solar energy to be concentrated and maximized. Its operation has grown to 40 people (20 in R&D) and has shipped more than 1 million square meters of these mirrors. However, those numbers could spike soon.

“The agreements are being put into place right now that I think the market will break free in 2011,” says Michael Magdich, general manager of global concentrated solar power and concentrated photovoltaics for Guardian Industries. “I think there will be fantastic growth.”

This could mean up to 200 people working on the product if growth projections are realized, an aggressive forecast that is not unheard of. Guardian Industries’ solar mirrors business has doubled over the course of its existence. With the current emphasis on subsidizing renewable energy from governments around the world, it’s not a long shot for that sort of growth to continue.

“The number of people we have on solar has been steadily increasing,” Magdich says.

Source: Michael Magdich, general manager of Global Concentrated Solar Power and
Concentrated Photovoltaics, and Earnest Thompson, director of corporate marketing and brand management for Guardian Industries

Writer: Jon Zemke