Solar panel maker gets federal loan for Colo. expansion

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A solar panel manufacturer is moving ahead with plans for major expansions in Indiana and Colorado after gaining approval of a $400 million federal loan.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Tuesday that the agency had completed the loan deal with Loveland, Colo.-based Abound Solar that President Barack Obama announced in July.

Abound Solar CEO Tom Tiller told the Kokomo Tribune that it now plans to eventually have 1,000 workers at the factory it is starting in Tipton. That is about 150 more jobs than originally planned. The start of hiring is at least a year away.

Abound Solar signed a lease last week on a vacant factory near Tipton that Chrysler supplier Getrag abandoned in 2008.

The company also plans adding 200 jobs at its Longmont, Colo. plant.