By Denver Business Journal website here), spun off from Colorado State University in 2007, has been held up as an example by federal and state officials of how commercialization of clean-energy technology can fuel the economic recovery -- and it has benefitted from substantial government support, including stimulus funds and tax subsidies. But Saturday's announcement by Obama was much larger than earlier pledges of government support for Abound, and the fact that it was announced personally by the president lent drama to the commitment. In his weekly radio address to the nation Saturday, Obama said Abound "will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. "A Colorado plant is already under way," the president added, referring to Abound's Longmont factory, "and an Indiana plant will be built in what's now an empty Chrysler factory. When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year." The Indiana plant is in Tipton. Local officials there reportedly offered Abound $13 million in incentives to move into the vacant Chrysler plant.
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Abound Solar started in 2007 as AVA Solar. Its goal has been to commercialize the process for manufacturing thin-film power-generating photovoltaic (PV) modules, which can be made more cheaply than standard PV units. It opened its production plant in Longmont in April 2009, and its research and development lab is in Fort Collins. It also has an office in Munich, Germany. "Abound Solar is a New Energy Economy success story," Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement Saturday. " ... Abound is already a job-creation engine in Colorado and this [stimulus] loan guarantee will translate to more jobs, cleaner energy and bolster our standing as a hub of clean energy entrepreneurialism."