Solar firm investing $500M in unused Getrag plant; 850 jobs planned

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer will get federal help to take over the empty Getrag plant on U.S. 31 near Kokomo, creating as many as 850 jobs in the next three years and establishing what it says will be the largest such facility in the United States.

Abound Solar Inc. will get help from a $400 million federal loan guarantee to open the Tipton County facility and expand an existing plant in Colorado. President Barack Obama announced nearly $2 billion in federal economic stimulus funding for two solar energy firms on Saturday, touting thousands of new jobs and increased use of renewable energyy. Abound Solar and Abengoa Solar, which is building a massive plant in Arizona, are the beneficiaries.

Abound Solar also is eligible for a total of more than $12 million in performance-based tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Tipton County leaders in May approved another $13 million in incentives to help lure the then-identified company.

The plant, where transmissions were to be built, has stood empty since 2008. Getrag Manufacturing LLC filed for bankruptcy and halted work on the plant after the company's partnership with Chrysler LLC collapsed. The facility has never been used.

A federal bankruptcy court in Detroit turned the facility over to a trustee group consisting of contractors still owed money on the project.

Abound Solar plans to invest more than $500 million in machinery, equipment and building improvements in Tipton County, the IEDC said Saturday. After renovations begin, the company plans to hire engineers, technicians and production associates.

IEDC said it worked with county leaders, federal lawmakers, state officials and the U.S. Department of Energy to help the company seal the deal.

"State and local representatives from Indiana were particularly instrumental in our efforts to finalize plans for this state-of-the-art facility and create high-paying jobs for Hoosier workers," Abound executive Steve Abely said in a prepared statement.  "We are excited about the opportunity to make America a global driver of renewable, affordable and abundant solar energy."


  • Criminal charges
    This seems strange to me - there are many articles that say Abound Solar not only is bankrupt but facing criminal charges.
  • Bum deal
    Tipton got a bum deal from the union workers that went on a one-day strike making Chrysler buckle under demands to build the plant there.It's all in the newspapers if you want to spend the effort to look it up.
  • Luxurious
    Its nice to be rich...and this article is quite good and interesting...
    used cars
  • Stick it streetfighter
    For you the glass will always be half empty until a new republican administration is in office. The last one had two terms to get something done, pissed it away, and left us on the brink of ruin. Of course, you will never give credit where credit is due, because you are a bigoted naysayer, with no vision.
  • Great for Tipton
    I feel great for the citizens of Tipton...a great small Indiana town(the kind of town with great character our country needs!) which got a bum deal from Getrag. From a citizen of Fishers, I say congratulations to the people and community of Tipton!
    • B.O. =B.S.
      The fact is that most of our solar panels are made out of the U.S. by companies like G.E. due to lower costs. Now this government, that hasn't been able to fix anything so far is going to underwrite all these solar cells that will take care of our electrical production. Giving it away, it will still cost too much. Billions has been spent on solar research, and where the hell is it at our level? By the time this is viable we could have five or ten nuclear plants functioning. You won't even see a blip of electical energy from solar power from this production. Costs of solar panels has been fixed at $4.50 per kilowatt hour and all the government B.S. and research hasn't brought it down one dime. For a simple water heater they are charging thousnds of dollars. After all, the great dream of B.O. to double production from one percent to two percent in ten years is nothing but pure B.S. By they time they steal all the money they can and misappropriate and just plain lose it, how many jobs are we really going to get? So much B.O. B.S. Much as we want solar to work, it isn't going to take over anytime soon. So Indiana is glad they sucked up some government largesse. Tune in five years from now.
      • Team work
        This great announcement for Indiana and the US as a whole came through President Obama's push for clean energy and Mitch Daniel's business emphasis. Neither could do it alone. Time each party recognize the others contributions.

      Post a comment to this story

      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

      2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

      3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

      4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

      5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.