With its US$80 million investment France-based Saint-Gobain Glass has teamed up with U.S. company Sage Electrochromics to build the world's first large-scale electrochromic plant in Fairbault, Minnesota.
When fully operation the facility, with a US$135 million price tag, will produce four million square feet of electrochromic glass. Using a low voltage current, electrochromic glass changes its tint, adapting its light and heat transmission based on the level of sunlight and the building's ambient temperature with out decreasing visibility. According to the press release the electrified glass is both an aesthetically pleasing alternative to conventional shades and blinds and will also reduce energy consumed by air conditioning, heating and lighting.
The two companies hope this partnership will electrify the market for this emerging eco-friendly product bringing costs down for architects and builders. The plant is slated to begin production in 2012.
"We are combining the best science and capabilities of the world's two leading electrochromic technologies, and capitalizing on Saint-Gobain's glassmaking experience, to deliver a product that's higher quality and more durable than ever before, at half the cost of today's electrochromic products. This alliance will dramatically accelerate global adoption of this game-changing technology in both commercial and residential markets," said John Van Dine, SAGE Chief Executive Office.
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