Solar power manufacturing plant brings jobs, innovation to Nacogdoches

Solar power manufacturing plant brings jobs, innovation to Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The newest manufacturing plant to open shop in Nacogdoches will soon bring new jobs and plenty of innovation to the area.

Solaro Energy manufactures products which are solar-powered. What’s unique about the company is that the president is also the man who invented the items Solaro produces.

“I like to tell people I’m the classic American inventor,” said Dennis Grubb, inventor and president of Solaro Energy. “No education, made it out of high school, went into the military, and I’ve always invented, always created.”

Grubb developed one of the world’s first tubular skylights and one of the world’s first solar powered attic fans, versions of both of which his company now produces. He said a passion for creating renewable energy drives his creativity.

Grubb’s discovery of radon in his basement led to his invention of radon mitigation systems, now built in Nacogdoches.

-"What this system is designed to do is to remove all the radon, moisture, mold and mildew out of a basement or house and bring in fresh clean air," explained Grubb.

After taking the first steps opening a new location in Nacogdoches, Grubb is anxious to put East Texans to work.

“We’re hiring all sorts of people from this particular area; we’re not bringing anyone from our plant in New Mexico,” Grubb explained. “We’ll have about 15 or 20 [total employees] at this location, and then about 100-plus at the new complex once it’s built.”

-"We’re looking for assemblers, fabricators, welders, C & C machine operators," said Grubb. Training is provided, so qualificaitons revolve primarily around “good ethics and a drug free environment,” said Grubb.

All products will be built in-house from sheets of aircraft rated aluminum. The final products will distributed thru dealers located around the world.

The new complex Grubb referred to is a seven-acre manufacturing complex, which should be complete in about 7 or 8 more months, Grubb said.

Solaro Energy is currently located in a facility off of Fredonia and South streets, but the company owns acreage where the seven-acre complex will be built.

Grubb learned about Nacogdoches after attending a manufacturing trade show where Matt Turner, president of Turner Fabrication served as a Nacogodoches ambassador. It wasn’t long before Grubb visited the Oldest Town in Texas.

WEBXTRA: Solar power manufacturing plant brings jobs, innovation to Nacogdoches

“He showed up the following Tuesday I believe and we showed him around and he decided he liked it,” recalled Turner. His company also benefited as a sub-contractor.

“We were so impressed that my wife and I also bought a home here and we’re now going to live here full time," said Grubb.

He’s hoping more time can be spent on his first passion of invention. Just last week an international patent for an insulation product was granted. A good start for a new business in town.

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