April 19, 2011 | Minneapolis, MN USA

Compromise Spending Bill Helps Minnesota Green Technology Facility Move Forward

SAGE Electrochromics, building the world’s largest dynamic glass manufacturing plant, boosted by negotiation efforts of Minnesota’s legislative delegation

Despite cuts to energy efficiency programs in the compromise spending bill approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last week, the legislation included provisions that will help a Minnesota company move forward with a major plant construction project expected to bring more than 160 "green collar" jobs and 200 construction jobs to the state.

"Thanks to their efforts, Minnesota is now better positioned to become a clean tech innovation engine for creating a stronger economy and a healthier planet."

SAGE Electrochromics recently broke ground on what will be the world's largest and most advanced electrochromic "dynamic glass" manufacturing facility, located in Faribault, Minn., 40 miles south of Minneapolis. The project is to be funded in part with a loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy, but a $25 million dollar fee levied on the loan potentially put the project in jeopardy.

Thanks to hard-fought negotiations by Minnesota's legislative delegation – including Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Congressmen John Kline and Tim Walz, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum – the spending bill now includes terms that allow qualifying borrowers to avoid payment of those subsidy fees.

"We're proud that our legislative delegation worked together to preserve this wise investment policy that will create green manufacturing jobs in Minnesota while developing new energy technologies that help cut utility bills, reduce carbon pollution and lessen our dependency on foreign oil," said John Van Dine, SAGE founder and CEO. "Thanks to their efforts, Minnesota is now better positioned to become a clean tech innovation engine for creating a stronger economy and a healthier planet."

The spending bill will support the financing of the construction and operation of a 300,000 square foot, high volume manufacturing facility to produce SageGlass®, an energy-saving dynamic window glass technology for commercial and residential buildings.

"Innovation has always been a catalyzing force in Minnesota's economy," Klobuchar said. "SAGE's groundbreaking work on energy-efficient windows is an example of how developing innovative technologies has the potential to create good jobs, while reducing our energy consumption and saving consumers money on their energy bills."

Senator Al Franken commented, "This encouraging development shows you can reduce the deficit without cutting projects that will generate jobs and economic growth for Minnesota companies. I've personally followed SAGE's success since their early days in Minnesota and am proud to have supported them through this process to a successful conclusion. SAGE is a very promising company with a bright future and now Minnesotans will benefit from the jobs SAGE will create and the growth it will certainly experience."

About SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.

SAGE Electrochromics is the world's leading developer of dynamic window glass that changes tint to optimize daylight and improve the human experience within buildings. SageGlass controls the sunlight and heat that enters and leaves a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while enhancing human comfort and well-being. SageGlass is a smarter, more elegant solution to problematic conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered near Minneapolis in Faribault, MN, the "silicon valley of windows." SAGE is strategically partnered with the Saint-Gobain company of Paris, France, the global leader in glass, building products and distribution. For more information visit: www.sage-ec.com.



Ed Marshall