Mississippi beats out Ohio to land silicon plant

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed incentive packages worth $175 million to attract two high-tech economic development projects, including a manufacturing plant for Sunnyvale cleantech company Calisolar.

On Wednesday, Barbour was huddling with key lawmakers to build support for the projects. Lawmakers will meet in a special session at 10 a.m. Friday to consider them.

Barbour said he will present legislators with a $75 million package to bring Calisolar to Columbus, Miss. He said the company will create 951 direct full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000 plus benefits. Calisolar’s Columbus facility would produce silicon to be used in a number of industries, including automotive, energy (including solar panels), electronics and consumer industries.

Lawmakers also will consider a $100 million package for HCL CleanTech, which has offices in Oxford, N.C., and Israel.

Officials say Ohio also was competing for the Calisolar plant. Calisolar officials did not