The Obama administration announced the award Friday as part of a $2.3 billion package of tax credits intended to create “clean-tech” manufacturing jobs.
Think North America won more than $16.9 million in tax credits to develop a manufacturing operation in Bristol to assemble electric vehicles and produce component parts.
Three other Indiana companies also won the credits, which are worth up to 30 percent of the cost of each project. The credits are aimed at manufacturing operations that make solar and wind energy products; products for making electric grids more efficient; fuel cells; equipment for energy conversion; and plug-in electric vehicles and parts.
President Obama said the credit, from funds earmarked under a $787 billion stimulus package he signed last February, would create 17,000 jobs and be matched by an additional $5 billion in private capital.
“Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future, jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” Obama said.
The announcement begins a renewed drive by the Obama administration on economic issues and comes on the heels of a report that the unemployment rate stayed at 10 percent in December as the economy lost 85,000 jobs.
Officials at Guardian’s parent company, Guardian Industries Corp., didn’t know Friday how many additional jobs the tax credits would mean for the Auburn plant or how soon.
“We’ll use those funds as we attract new business,” spokeswoman Amy Hennes said from Guardian headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Guardian’s Auburn plant is the recipient of tax credits for three initiatives it’s undertaking. The projects approved for the Auburn plant:
•$3.38 million to retool so Guardian can double its capacity to produce bent solar mirrors to 1 million a year
•$525,000 for equipment to enable the plant to apply a reflective coating to glass before bending to maximize reflectivity
•$1.25 million to extend Guardian’s advanced radical-bent windshield technology into the solar industry
The components to be produced in Guardian’s Auburn plant will be used to help create concentrated solar power, which uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight to generate heat to spin power plants or onto photovoltaic sources. Several such systems are in use in the United States.
How quickly the technology is developed – and how widely it is used – are relevant to Guardian’s Auburn employees. In October, 64 of the plant’s 231 employees were laid off. Hennes said Friday that none had been brought back.