Sharp Corp., Japan’s largest manufacturer of solar power panels is to create 300 new jobs at a plant in the UK following the extension of its European solar panel plant in Wrexham, Wales,  increasing the workforce to 1,100 from 800.

The company said the investment will almost double manufacturing capacity to 500 megawatts a year by March, with an additional 3,000 panels being made every day, enough to power over 170,000 homes.

Andrew Lee, head of international sales for Sharp, said: “This job creation proves that there is an appetite for solar technology in the UK and that this sector has huge growth potential, bucking the trend in the wider economy.”

“Feed-in tariffs led to a shot in the arm and the solar industry, and we have responded by creating jobs.”

Britain introduced new solar incentives last year just as several European countries including Spain, Germany and France cut these to take account of price falls following global over-capacity and competition from China.

Britain’s feed-in tariffs pay per unit of electricity produced from small-scale low-carbon energy up to 5 MW.

The incentives reward solar power far more than any other technology, at up to 0.41 pounds ($0.648) per kilowatt hour from 2010-2011 for small, roof-top systems, falling to 0.38 pounds in 2012-2013, reflecting the fact that solar is more expensive than most alternatives.

The government has reserved the right revise incentive levels as of 2012, or earlier if there is a higher than expected rush to install the panels, or if costs are reduced rapidly.