Solar company comes to Dixon, plans to hire 50 people in 3 years
DIXON – An Iowa-based solar company soon will open downtown and expects to create 50 jobs in the next 3 years, officials announced this morning.
Moxie Solar is moving into the former Walter C. Knack Co. on West First Street and is looking to open in the next month or so.
The solar equipment provider and installer based in North Liberty, Iowa, has completed more than 400 commercial, residential, agricultural and municipal projects ranging in size, anywhere from 3 kilowatts to 10 megawatts.
Jenn and Jason Hall started their business a decade ago, which has about 50 employees in Iowa, and they were drawn to Illinois following new renewable energy incentives the state created in 2016 to foster a boom in development.
“The incentives are phenomenal, and there have been a lot of doors opening up to support us,” said Jenn, who will be running operations in Dixon.
The environmentally conscious couple went into the solar development business as a way to help others minimize their carbon footprints, and the company grew to three locations in Iowa as well as an office in Austin, Texas.
Bringing the business to Dixon came from a collaboration with several organizations, including the Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College, the city, the Lee County Industrial Development Association, and the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and Main Street.
The announcement came at the tail end of an appreciation breakfast at Sauk to kick off Small Business Development week and recognize growing small businesses in the region.
SBDCs are vital in helping communities grow and providing businesses with resources they need, Jason said.
“This is what makes the world go around,” he said.
Last year, the SBDC at Sauk assisted more than 90 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Moxie moving into the downtown is another example of efforts to “revitalize the heart of our community,” said Stacey Colledge, president and CEO of Chamber Main Street.
“We want to create a good ecosystem for businesses to start with.”
City Manager Danny Langloss said the development came out of the Viaduct Point project, an initiative where the city and LCIDA teamed up to secure 13 parcels along the west end of the riverfront and downtown, about 10 acres stretching from the Peoria Avenue Bridge to the viaducts, with the goal of spurring economic development.
The Knack property purchase was under contract with a LCIDA land trust, and the city took over the contract to buy the three parcels at 501 and 511 W. First St. for $185,000 in March.
Go to moxiesolar.com or find Moxie Solar on Facebook for more information.