Abound Solar opening new manufacturing plant

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Abound Solar, a Loveland, Colo., based manufacturer of next-generation thin-film photovoltaic solar modules, announced that is has closed on a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Abound will be using the financing to develop the country’s largest solar thin-film module manufacturing plant facility in Indiana and to expand their current manufacturing facility in Longmont, Colo.

“We are excited to be expanding our manufacturing footprint to Tipton, Indiana,” said Tom Tiller, Abound Solar president and CEO. “We appreciate the support of the local community and its leaders that have helped to make this happen.”

The DOE loan guarantee comes as a hefty supplement to $110 million in equity financing provided by investors such as the Invus Group, Bohemian Companies, DCM, Technology Partners, BP Alternative Energy Ventures, and West Hill Companies.

The 781,750 square foot facility will be located in Tipton, and comprises 104 acres in total. The property was purchased by W.W. Reynolds Companies, a Boulder, Colo., based real estate development firm. Abound signed a long-term lease for the property that allows necessary improvements to facilitate the development of a 640-megawatt solar module plant. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and will bring an estimated 1,200 jobs to Tipton.

“We look forward to extending the relationship we built with Abound Solar as they established their first manufacturing facility in Colorado,” said Bill Reynolds, W.W. Reynolds Companies president in a statement. “We are proud to partner with them to revitalize the Tipton site and bring jobs back to Tipton County.”

Together, the two facilities will be able to produce 840 megawatts of solar modules annually.

“We’ll be tripling the capacity of the Longmont facility upon completion in 2012, and we’re aiming to begin development in Indiana immediately after that, with a completion date of 2014,” said Mark Chen, Director of Marketing for Abound Solar.

“Abound Solar’s strong partnership with a growing list of industry-leading customers gives us the confidence to make these large investments to meet the strong demand for our product,” said Tom Tiller, Abound Solar president and CEO, in a statement. “We are proud of the progress the company has made, which has met the Department of Energy’s stringent conditions and attracted a highly experienced set of investors. We appreciate the hard work and commitment of our employees and partners to reach this important milestone.”

Image courtesy of Abound Solar.