Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

October 11, 2011

Solar company progresses toward Tipton expansion despite industry woes

TIPTON — Competitors’ collapses that drew criticisms to the U.S. solar industry do not mean the manufacturer planning a major expansion to Tipton County faces the same ill fate, the company says.

A handful of hires have already happened in Indiana, a spokesperson for the company said Tuesday.

Abound Solar Inc. has remained adamant publicly for more than a month that it is operating smoothly and is not coping with the same struggles that led to the bankruptcy of fellow stimulus beneficiary Solyndra LLC.

Abound is using a $400 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand in Colorado then into Tipton County, where the company says it will add at least 850 jobs.

Solyndra, which received approval in 2009 for a $535 million loan guarantee, has brought the government program as well as the entire U.S. solar industry under public scrutiny after the company filed for bankruptcy.

The company followed Evergreen Inc. and SpectraWatt Inc. as the third U.S. solar equipment producer to file for bankruptcy within a month.

Abound on Monday also announced CEO Tom Tiller would step down for personal reasons. The company has appointed Craig Witsoe, head of Lineage Power, to take over the position.

“Solar is a relatively young market and there are going to be growing pains,” Abound wrote in the newsletter. “We believe that we are prepared to meet these changes and the associated challenges head on.”

Tipton County Commissioner Jane Harper said Tuesday area residents began contacting her soon after Solyndra collapsed. Concerns have emerged about whether Abound would actually begin operating at the never-used plant at the corner of U.S. 31 and Ind. 28.

She accredited a lot of the suspicions not only to a frenzy of attention on the solar industry since Solyndra’s bankruptcy, but the history of the empty sprawling factory, which previously belonged to Chrysler and Getrag Transmission.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • North split restrictions on Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will restrict traffic at the single-lane ramp that connects U.S. 31 to southbound Ind. 931 on the north side of Kokomo — weather permitting — on Monday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remedial repairs along the 200-

    April 16, 2014

  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 01 State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards

    PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Chrysler CEO will headline Tipton plant opening Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will preside over the grand opening of the company's fifth north central Indiana plant, the Tipton Transmission Plant, at a ceremony May 13, company officials announced Tuesday. In February 2013, Chrysler announced it w

    April 16, 2014

  • More than 70 businesses participate in annual job fair More than 70 local businesses got a look at the workforce of tomorrow during Tuesday's Kokomo Area Job Fair at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center. The event, put on as a partnership between Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community

    April 16, 2014

  • Kokomo episode of 'My First Home' airs Saturday A cautious cat-lover will search for the perfect house in Kokomo on Saturday's episode of "My First Home" on TLC. The episode airs at noon and features Kokomo real estate agent Gena Martin and first-time homebuyer Steven Underwood. In its description

    April 16, 2014

  • Easter basket workshop Thursday Generous individuals and businesses in town donated enough candy, games and books to fill more than 500 Easter baskets at this year's Tom Carey Easter Basket Workshop. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. Thursday. Any families that are strapped for cash t

    April 16, 2014

  • IUK to give Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne honorary degree Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will be at Indiana University Kokomo’s May 13 commencement to accept an honorary degree from Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, IUK officials announced. In a statement, McRobbie credited Marchionne with engi

    April 15, 2014

  • Cheryl Marner aims to cross finish line during this year's Boston Marathon Cheryl Marner was a mile from the finish line at last year's Boston Marathon when all of the runners in front of her suddenly stopped. The race had come to a halt, and at the time, she didn't know why. "There was a lot of confusion," she said. "I hea

    April 15, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries