Compromise Spending Bill Helps Minnesota Green Technology Facility Move Forward
April 19, 2011

The compromise spending bill approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last week includes provisions that Sage Electrochromics says will help it move forward with a major plant construction project expected to bring more than 160 “green collar” jobs and 200 construction jobs to the state. The company recently broke ground on a new electrochromic “dynamic glass” manufacturing facility, located in Faribault, Minn., 40 miles south of Minneapolis. The project is to be funded in part with a loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy, but a $25 million dollar fee levied on the loan potentially put the project in jeopardy. However, thanks to negotiations by Minnesota’s legislative delegation, including Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Congressmen John Kline and Tim Walz, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum, the spending bill now includes terms that allow qualifying borrowers to avoid payment of those subsidy fees.

“We’re proud that our legislative delegation worked together to preserve this wise investment policy that will create green manufacturing jobs in Minnesota while developing new energy technologies that help cut utility bills, reduce carbon pollution and lessen our dependency on foreign oil,” says John Van Dine, SAGE founder and chief executive officer. “Thanks to their efforts, Minnesota is now better positioned to become a clean tech innovation engine for creating a stronger economy and a healthier planet.”

The spending bill will support the financing of the construction and operation of a 300,000 square foot, high-volume manufacturing facility to produce SageGlass®.

“Innovation has always been a catalyzing force in Minnesota’s economy,” Klobuchar said. “SAGE’s groundbreaking work on energy-efficient windows is an example of how developing innovative technologies has the potential to create good jobs, while reducing our energy consumption and saving consumers money on their energy bills.”
Senator Al Franken adds, “This encouraging development shows you can reduce the deficit without cutting projects that will generate jobs and economic growth for Minnesota companies. I've personally followed SAGE’s success since their early days in Minnesota and am proud to have supported them through this process to a successful conclusion. SAGE is a very promising company with a bright future and now Minnesotans will benefit from the jobs SAGE will create and the growth it will certainly experience.”

 

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