Electronically Tintable Glass Receives DOE Loan Guarantee

SAGE Electrochromics, Inc., a company that makes electronically tintable glass, received a $72 million loan guarantee offer from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday.

Coupled with the $31 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit SAGE received earlier this year, the company now has secured more than $100 million in federal funding. These funds will help SAGE establish a facility for the manufacture of tintable glass to make buildings more energy efficient.

SAGE’s glass can change from a clear state to a tinted state at the push of a button, or can be programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions. Windows using SageGlass® technology control the amount of sunlight that enters a building, significantly reducing energy consumed for air conditioning, heating and lighting. The company will tap the DOE funding to build a high-volume manufacturing plant next to its headquarters in Faribault, Minn., ramping up production for commercial, institutional and residential applications.

The 250,000-square-foot facility is expected to add 160 full-time green jobs in manufacturing and technology to the 100 jobs in SAGE’s current plant in southern Minnesota. More than 200 construction jobs will also be created. A study by Deloitte Consulting concluded the plant will add a total of nearly 400 permanent jobs to the area’s economy.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for summer of 2010, and the plant is expected to begin shipments in the latter part of 2011.

DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), SageGlass windows have the potential to reduce building heating and air conditioning equipment requirements by up to 25%, resulting in major construction and maintenance cost savings. LBNL also estimates that SageGlass products will reduce cooling loads by up to 20%, lower peak power demand by as much as 26%, and reduce lighting costs by up to 60%. National Renewable Energy Laboratory research scientist Dane Gillaspie said that widespread use of smart window technologies like SAGE’s “could save about one-eighth of all the energy used by buildings in the U.S. every year, equivalent to about 5% of the nation’s total energy budget."

In addition to the new DOE support, SAGE has received over $45 million in investment financing over the past three years. Investors include Good Energies, Applied Ventures, LLC, and NV Bekaert SA.

Website: http://www.sage-ec.com     
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