As many as 300 high-tech jobs will be coming to Research Triangle Park over the next five years through an expansion plan announced today by Cree.

The semiconductor and LED manufacturer said it would add as many as 300 jobs over the next five years as part of its growth plan. It currently employs more than 960 people.

Cree has been negotiating with state and local officials for some time about the expansion. Virginia apparently was part of the bidding process for the jobs, according to Governor Mike Easley.

Cree said it will spend an addition $300 million on infrastructure and equipment.

The State of North Carolina will provide $5.1 million through incentives as part of the state’s Job Development Investment Grant program, Cree said. The grants cover an 11-year period, Easley’s office said.

“Developed from technology learned at N.C. State University, Cree is a home-grown success story, and their addition of 300 high-quality jobs in the Triangle will only deepen their roots in our state,” Easley said in a statement. “In considering their expansion options, the company’s choices included not only North Carolina and Virginia but also other areas around the world. Cree chose North Carolina because of our excellent workforce, our continuing support of education and our business-friendly climate.”

Easley said a final location for the expansion had not been picked. Cree said the site would be near its current headquarters.

“This expansion will help Cree support the strong demand for our LED chip products and position the company for our targeted future growth not only in LED chips, but also our new XLamp and power product lines,” said Chuck Swoboda, president and CEO of Cree, in a statement. “We are pleased to be expanding in North Carolina and greatly appreciate the support from the state of North Carolina.”

Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) stock traded at $22.43 at midday, up 48 cents.