3M's solar film business could add 120 employees
3M’s Ultra Barrier Solar Film, which it plans to manufacture at its Columbia. Mo., factory, was the target of a $4.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant for testing and research. The grant, which will be paid over three years, was announced by the company Tuesday [March 22] and is aimed at reducing the cost of solar energy systems by about 75 percent.
The company’s solar film product is a flexible film for solar panels that would replace the standard glass used for most systems, reducing the weight and, hopefully, the cost. The company has said the new product, and additional products brought into the Columbia plant, could lead to 120 new jobs at its facility on Route B, revitalizing a factory that has shed jobs for years, according to a March 26 Columbia Daily Tribune report.