CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A new four-lane road to the future Hemlock Semiconductor plant opened Thursday in Clarksville.
The new road, called Solar Way, is located north of Interstate 24, off Highway 79, and it's the first major milestone completion for the plant.
The $1.2 billion plant aims at making Tennessee a leader in solar energy. It will produce materials used to build solar panels.
Hemlock site manager Terry Strange said, "It's the pathway to a solar world. It's a pathway that's leaning toward this whole area becoming the solar center of the United States."
With the construction of the Hemlock plant, comes over 1,000 construction jobs.
Right now, about 650 workers are on the site, but by early 2011, the number will double.
Strange said, "Most of the jobs that are out here are going to people in Kentucky and Tennessee. Even though there are some contractors we bring in with specialty capabilities from outside this region, they only bring their top-level supervisors, and they hire people locally."
Construction for the plant is on schedule for a 2012 completion date.
Hemlock project director Jim Russo said, "The project is right on schedule…We had a little setback this winter with the bad weather, but we, for the most part made that up, and we're where we want to be."
The plant will be a welcomed site for thousands of middle Tennesseans looking for work.
Hemlock will begin hiring for 500 full-time positions next year.