The city’s commitment to clean technology has enticed another Spanish solar energy company establishing its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newson announced Tuesday.

GA-Solar, a photovoltaic solar generation company based in Madrid, set up offices in San Francisco about two months ago, according to Newsom.

Currently just seven employees report to the company’s U.S. headquarters for work each day. At a news conference at City Hall announcing their arrival this morning, Newsom said GA-Solar chose San Francisco “with expectations of real growth.”

Newsom said San Francisco’s tax credits and other policies encouraging renewable energy use makes the city an attractive destination for companies like GA-Solar.

“If San Francisco was a laggard as opposed to a leader, GA wouldn’t be here,” he said.
The city has offered some form of incentives for residents who install solar panels since 2008. Newsom on Tuesday said solar panel installations are up 450 percent since the program began.

GA-Solar’s parent company, Gestamp Corporation, operates in 22 countries and employs 22,000 people, according to Pablo Otin Pintado, head of GA-Solar’s U.S. division.

The San Francisco headquarters will foster both jobs and clean technology in the region, he said.

The company is working on several large-scale projects in California and is investing $1 billion in a large 300-megawatt solar plant in New Mexico, he said.

GA-Solar is one of a number of solar companies that have set up shop in San Francisco, and the latest of 200 green technology companies that have arrived in the last two years, according to Newsom’s office. Another Spanish solar company, Fotowatio, announced in September it had set up its North American headquarters in the city.

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