A Wilmington-based company that designs, manufactures and installs solar power systems welcomed Acting Deputy U.S. Commerce Secretary Dr. Rebecca Blank today.

Blank visited SolarDock to see firsthand how American manufacturing and clean energy come together, underscoring initiatives President Obama laid out in his State of the Union address about a week ago.

"The administration is very committed to the idea that clean energy, domestic clean energy, is going to be a core part of an economy built to last in the 21st century," said Dr. Blank.

And Delaware's SolarDock seems to be leading the way.

"Last year we grew 200 percent -- little over that. We're in the solar business, so it's a new, growing marketplace, but we have found our niche with the solar dock, which is a non-penetrating roof mounting system that holds the solar panels," said SolarDock founder Scott Johnson. "We have over 30 megawatts around the world of installed products that have been made here."

Additionally, SolarDock subcontracts with MJM Fabrications in New Caste, who produces the parts SolarDock's design team creates, which means even more Americans working on products made in the U.S.A. 

A strong business model to learn from, Dr. Blank says, that can propel America towards becoming a global leader in the area of green technology, if given the proper support from the federal government to nurture the industry.

"I'm here partly to see how [SolarDock] is working and to report back in Washington about what we at Commerce are seeing in terms of the successes within the American economy and clean energy," said Blank.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed reducing tax rates for American manufacturers and doubling the tax deduction for high-tech manufacturers. The President also called on Congress to take action on clean energy tax credits and laid out a proposal for new incentives to encourage manufacturers to make energy efficiency upgrades that would amount to savings in energy costs and usage. 

Dr. Blank was appointed Acting Deputy Secretary in October, having served as Acting Secretary from August-October 2011. She joined the Obama Administration as the head of the Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration. Blank previously served as a member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors.