Manufacturing Savvy

The DOE is Doling Out 'Green' Money

SAGE Electronics, based in Faribault, Minn. is happily acquiring funds and tax credits in order to build a facility to manufacture energy-saving electronically tintable glass.

Earlier this month SAGE received $72 million in loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE's Loan Guarantee Program was established under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and supports innovative technologies that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases.

The company also was awarded a $31 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit.

Shovels are set to begin breaking ground this summer for the 250,000-square-foot facility which will mass produce a dynamic glass that can change from a clear state to a tinted state at the push of a button, according to the company.

Its SageGlass technology controls the amount of sunlight that enters a building, significantly reducing energy consumed for air conditioning, heating and lighting.

How much energy can be saved? According to The DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which has been evaluating SAGE's products for more than a decade, the windows have the potential to reduce building heating and air conditioning equipment requirements by up to 25%. LBNL also estimates that these 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%.

The use of these types of smart window technologies 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," according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory research scientist Dane Gillaspie.

In addition to the 160 full-time green manufacturing and technology jobs, more than 200 construction jobs will also be created.

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