Clipper Windpower, with a plant in southwest Cedar Rapids, will be allowed to keep a portion of the $2.3 million that it was awarded in June 2011 for development of a new wind turbine, despite cancellation of the project.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday followed a staff recommendation to let the Carpinteria, Calif., company keep $373,104 that it has been reimbursed for work on the new wind turbine. The board agreed that the “work was completed in good faith” and Clipper Windpower will not receive the remaining $1,919,062.
Clipper Windpower was purchased in August 2012 by Platinum Equity of Los Angeles from United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn. Since that time, the new management made a strategic decision to refocus its product line and discontinue work on development of a new turbine prototype.
Clipper Windpower suspended turbine production at the Cedar Rapids plant, 4601 Bowling St. SW, and laid off 76 employees after the company was sold to Platinum Equity. The company reportedly furloughed more workers in Cedar Rapids last month, but did not return phone calls seeking confirmation.
In another green energy development, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday approved amending the budget for an Eastern Iowa ethanol plant to include higher matching funds for state financial assistance.
Fiberight-Blairstown Operating LLC was approved in August 201o for $2.9 million from the Iowa Power Fund. The company said the project’s cost has increased to $32.8 million with the purchase of larger equipment and Fiberight is increasing its match to $29.9 million.
The company did not request any increase in the Iowa Power Fund award.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a $25 million loan guarantee to Fiberight-Blairstown. The plant will use will municipal and industrial paper waste in place of corn to produce ethanol.