FORTUNE -- Local real-estate reporters in Arizona knew something was afoot when First Solar, a Tempe-based manufacturer of thin-film solar cells, said last week that it had sold one of its properties in nearby Mesa to an unknown buyer for $100 million.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook told a Senate subcommittee last May that Arizona was one of five states where the company planned to repatriate some of its manufacturing operations, nearly all of which are now in Asia.
Arizona Governor Janice Brewer put two and two together for the media Monday morning, and suddenly the international press was all over the story: Apple, which closed its last American manufacturing facility ten years ago, was opening its second U.S. plant in a year.
According to GT Advanced Technologies, the New Hampshire-based firm that won the multi-year contract, Apple has pre-paid GT $578 million, which GT is scheduled to repay in five years starting in 2015. GT will own the factory equipment, including the ASFs (advanced sapphire furnaces) that it will build at the Mesa site.
Apple has promised to the make the plant 100% renewable by providing Mesa with additional solar and geothermal energy, news that didn't escape the notice of Greenpeace and the National Resource Defense Council.
Below: Statements from various interested parties.
If you use a touchscreen phone or tablet computer, there's a good chance the surface you're furiously poking and prodding is a product called Gorilla Glass. A predecessor to the glass was made by Corning in the 1960s, nearly 50 years before the company resuscitated and tweaked the technology for "damage resistant" displays for consumer electronics. Here's a look at the science behind the glass.Oct 6, 2010 3:00 AM ET
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