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Green Jobs abound solar to create 1000 new green jobs at indiana photovoltaic plant

Published on December 15th, 2010 | by Tina Casey

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Indiana Ready to Bust Through as Next Green Jobs Powerhouse

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December 15th, 2010 by  

abound solar to create 1000 new green jobs at indiana photovoltaic plantOkay, so everybody knows about Hoosiers basketball and the Indy 500, but those two sports powerhouses might soon have to take a back seat to another Indiana superstar: solar power. The largest thin film solar plant in the U.S. is slated to be developed in Tipton, Indiana and it will create more than 1,000 permanent full time green jobs. The new factory, a project of Abound Solar, is being built with the help of a $400 million loan guaranty from the Department of Energy.

New Green Jobs

Ironically, the announcement came down just a day after President Obama met with  corporate leaders and asked them to step up their hiring. As it turns out part of the reason we’re still in the economic doldrums is  “companies have stockpiled record amounts of cash” but have chosen not to add staff until – well, until we’re out of the doldrums, basically. Fortunately the Obama administration has recognized that a boost from the federal government is needed to create a more stable, less risky environment for hiring. The new plant is just one of hundreds of new green job ventures created by federal programs including, most notably, the Recovery Act.

1,000 Solar Energy Jobs for Indiana

The new solar plant will occupy an existing facility that was abandoned after the former owner went bankrupt, so it’s also a good example of how alternative energy can revitalize brownfields and other empty industrial facilities – as opposed to fossil fuel harvesting, which all too often destroys the space it occupies. Once up to speed, the plant will have the capacity to produce 640 megawatts’ worth of thin film photovoltaic cells, which Abound Solar describes as based on “next-generation, cadmium telluride” technology.

Alternative Energy in Indiana

Like other midwestern states, Indiana is starting to host new wind farms (which, by the way, can be sited on working farms, providing farmers with new lease income) and new federally funded solar installations. It’s also getting a share of the federal money turned down by Wisconsin and Ohio for high-speed rail projects along with other federal grants for green transportation. As for the iconic Indy 500, as part of this year’s festivities the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted an exhibit by the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and next-generation battery manufacturer EnerDel, featuring the latest low-emission, sustainable energy automotive technology.

Image: Indy 500 by bnpositive on flickr.com.

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About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • Nobody At All

    Calisolar Inc. may also reopen a closed GM plant in Ontario, Ohio, bringing 1,300 jobs to the area:

    http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20101216/NEWS01/12160305/Ohio-pulls-out-the-stops-for-Calisolar-jobs

    This would be enormous for the Mansfield-Ontario area. Richland County has battled high unemployment for years, peaking at 13.6%, and remains at 10.7% today:

    http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&ctype=l&strail=false&nselm=h&met_y=unemployment_rate&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=state&idim=state:ST390000&idim=county:CN391390&tstart=631152000000&tunit=M&tlen=249&hl=en&dl=en

    CaliSolar will reportedly vote on this tomorrow. A nice news story could help.

    • Tina Casey

      Hi Nobody At All, thanks for the tip. I hope that happens!

  • Lawrence Landherr

    Let’s see the Indy 500 do something REALLY green–like having a race with all Tesla roadsters.

  • Roger Lauricella

    Tina: Not so much a comment on your discussion of Green in Indiana which is done very well. You say, “As it turns out part of the reason we’re still in the economic doldrums is “companies have stockpiled record amounts of cash” but have chosen not to add staff until – well, until we’re out of the doldrums,” as if companies have some type of obligation to invest their money and creat jobs with no concern for expenses or profits. There has been considerable press in the last few months about this cash and the reasons behind it. Very simply unknowns about future tax obligations (hint increases) and health obligations (hint Obama care) along with an election taking place with a possible shift in business positive attention have caused businesses to stock pile cash. I am not making this up, all you have to do is search and you will find many an article detailing these reasons. You may not agree with them, but the reasons exist.

    • Tina Casey

      Roger, thank you for the opening compliment, but I don’t think the rest of your comment makes a particularly strong case regarding my statement about companies not hiring. My statement encompasses your argument; there are many reasons behind “the doldrums” and I don’t necessarily disagree with those that you cite, but I do think that your list is neither a comprehensive nor an objective one (your use of the phrase “Obama care” suggests a lack of objectivity).

    • MJ

      It seems more likely that companies haven’t been hiring because the U.S. Chamber and Republicans told them to sit on their cash until Obama was out of office, since he was just going to be a one-term president. They’re still sitting.

  • Pingback: Cool Green Morning: Wednesday, December 15 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy

  • http://www.greencareersguide.com Ezra

    For years we have watched the potential of green energy and green jobs. 2011 could be a banner and breakout year for them. Happy to see that Indiana is taking advantage.

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