Q&A with Twin Creeks - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Q&A with Twin Creeks

1) What is Twin Creeks Technologies?

A. Founded in 2008, Twin Creeks Technologies, Inc. is a venture backed, solar technology company, headquartered in San Jose, California with engineering and manufacturing locations in Boston, Massachusetts and San Jose, California.

3) Who are your investors?

A. Twin Creeks Technologies is venture backed. Our primary investors are Crosslink Capital, Benchmark, Artis Capital, and DAG Ventures.

4) What is your technology?

A. Our technology is crystalline silicon based solar panels.

5) How are you differentiated from other solar companies?

A. Twin Creeks has invented and patented a disruptive technology that changes the economics of solar generated electricity.

4) Are you publicly traded and if not, when will you be?

A. Twin Creeks Technologies is a privately held company. We do not yet have an estimated date for trading on the public markets.

1) What is the total investment?

A. The total company investment over the next five years is $175 million at the Senatobia site. Significant additional investment will occur in the Senatobia area as we retain local construction, engineering, and support work force in the construction and maintenance of our factory.

2) How many people will you employ?

A. At full capacity, Twin Creeks Technologies will employ over 500 full time employees. In the first phase and second phases, in 2010 and 2011, Twin Creeks will hire approximately 180 direct employees plus create many additional indirect jobs in the construction phase of the plant.

3) Will Mississippi residents be given priority for the positions?

A. We anticipate that most of the jobs will be filled by Mississippi residents. For some special skills and experience, we may have to recruit outside the State, but it is our intent to look to Mississippi first.

3a) What kind of skills will you be looking for in your applicants?

A. We have various jobs to fill. Some will require specific technical, engineering and administrative skills. We will need skilled trades people. For the production line work, we will need people who are willing to work hard, willing to learn new skills, and want to be part of an exciting new technology.

4) What is the hiring schedule?

A. We haven't finalized our hiring schedule. We will announce it through the State shortly once decided.

5) Whom can applicants contact?

A. All applications will be handled through the State's WIN Center. Please do not contact us directly.

6) Why did you pick Mississippi?

A. There are several reasons.

• The Governor played a big role in recruiting us to the State. He visited our facilities in Boston and San Jose. He met with our key investors. He was personally involved and we are very impressed by him.

• We appreciate the bi-partisan approach that the State Legislature took when it enacted the special legislation, and want to thank Speaker McCoy, Chairman Watson; Lt. Governor Bryant, and Senator Kirby for their efforts.

• We are impressed with the positive business climate in the State – especially towards manufacturing.

• The community of Senatobia gave us a warm welcome – the industrial park met all of our needs.

• The proximity to Northeast Community College and Ole Miss.

• The proximity to the Memphis distribution hub and international airport were also important considerations.

• Finally, we believe that we can recruit a highly motivated workforce that will help us to succeed.

7) What other State did you consider? What kinds of incentives did you receive, and what role did incentives play in your decision?

A. We visited over 25 sites in six states. The State's incentive offer was competitive with other offers that we received – but it wasn't' the largest offer that we received. As a start-up company, incentives played a role in our decision – but we made our final decision based on the factors that we previously enumerated.

8) In the past, Mississippi has been burned by giving large incentives to start-ups that

went bankrupt. What assurances can you give that this won't happen to Twin Creeks?

A. We aren't a typical start-up. We have already raised almost $70,000,000 in equity, and our investors are committed to invest additional amounts. Our company has been in existence over two years, and we've developed proprietary technology that will substantially reduce the cost of solar panels. We hold over 50 patents. Of our 60 employees, 45 are engineers and 25 are PhD's. Our investors include some of the most iconic venture capitalists in Silicon Valley – and they have a very good track record of backing winners. Our investors include venture capital firms that have taken Microsoft public; another venture capital firm that backs Twin Creeks was one of the first investors in Ebay.

9) What more can you tell us about your technology?

A. We have a disruptive technology that will lower the cost of solar panels. Using standard crystalline silicon, which is very reliable and has been successfully used in solar panels for over 30 years, Twin Creeks is able to supply solar energy at a substantially more affordable price.

10) Isn't the demand for solar energy limited?

A. Over the long term, energy needs across the world are projected to increase – and renewable sources such as solar will play an important role in fulfilling those needs..

11) Where will you sell your product?

A. We will focus on the commercial market, and we expect to sell in both the US and overseas markets, and anticipate that as much as 40% of our product will be exported.

12) Do you have orders for your product?

A. We are in discussions with several large end users, but for competitive reasons, we are not disclosing customer agreements at this point.

13) Will Entergy be a Twin Creeks customer?

A. Entergy is an important partner – because our operations require a large amount of reliable, reasonably priced electricity to produce the panels – and Entergy will be our electricity supplier. We plan to have future discussions with them about supplying solar panels to meet their renewable energy needs – and are hopeful that we can enter into a mutually beneficial arrangement.

14) What is the role of the Northwest MS Community College and Ole Miss in this project?

A. The community college will play a critical role in the training of our employees – and will be an important partner. You are fortunate to have such an excellent community college in this area. We've already met with Ole Miss, and we expect to recruit engineers from their engineering school, and will work with the Center For Manufacturing Excellence at Ole Miss. Representatives from Ole Miss helped recruit us to the area.

15) What will salaries be like in your plant in Mississippi?

A. We have not yet established our pay and benefit package – but it will be very competitive. We want to attract the best workforce possible and are motivated to build one of the best performing manufacturing plants in the world.

16) Do you intend to apply for federal loans?

A. We are in the process of applying for a Department of Energy loan, and we've already met with the two US Senators and Congressman Childress – who have offered to support our application.

17) If you don't receive the DOE loan, will that impact your operations in Senatobia?

A. We are committed to building a 100 MW plant that will employ 500 people – and will do that even if we don't receive the DOE loan. However, a DOE loan would speed up our ramp up from 5 years to a much shorter period.

18) How will you handle your construction? Will you use Mississippi firms in the construction?

A. We will be working with the City and the County and will use an open bid process that will be open to all qualified Mississippi contractors. The Governor has asked us to use our best efforts to give a fair opportunity to Mississippi-based contractors, and that is our intention.

18) If we have follow up questions, whom should we contact?

A. Please call +1 (408) 894 0779 and we will follow up with the appropriate contacts.

19) Do you have any plans to expand beyond 100 MW?

A. While the primary manufacturing focus of Twin Creeks is on the rapid construction, facilitization, and ramp up of its Senatobia plant, we do have additional expansion plans, but we are not disclosing them at this point. It is of great interest to us to ramp quickly to production and in the future to be able to further expand manufacturing in Mississippi.

20) Will you use toxic materials in your process, and how will you dispose of them?

A. Solar manufacturing plants have been in existence for many years and the processing steps are well known as well as the safe removal and disposal of any toxic substance. No unsafe or unknown material will be used and any toxic material will be handled and disposed of in a safe manner and in accordance with applicable laws.

21) When will you break ground?

A. We will break ground in the summer of 2010 and plan on completing and facilitizing the factory by early 2011.

23) What is your end product?

A. Our end product will be crystalline silicon solar panels.

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