11:37am

Fri July 8, 2011
Solar manufacturing

Growth for Abound Solar Heats Up in Colorado and Midwest

A Colorado company that makes solar panels says its plans to start production at an Indiana facility are on track.  And Abound Solar is expanding its capacity within Colorado too.

The Loveland-based company took control of a vacant auto parts factory in central Indiana last December, less than a year after President Obama announced $400 million in federal loan guarantees for the company. Later this year, the plant expects to begin hiring what will eventually be 800 to 1,000 workers there.

But growth for Abound isn't limited to that state.  On Wednesday, the company announced plans to double its office and lab space at Centerra in east Loveland by the end of this year, adding an outdoor solar module testing site there.

“Once it’s fully operational, the test site will produce about 100 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to power 30 homes,” says Northern Colorado Business Report Editor Kate Hawthorne. “With this expansion at Centerra, the company has enough space to install up to 400 kilowatts over the next several years.”

Hawthorne says Abound Solar and the city of Loveland still need to determine how the generated power will be used.  The company expects to add about 50 new jobs by the end of this year as a result of the Centerra expansion.