MEDC loan approved for solar panel plant

The Milwaukee Economic Development Corp.’s Loan and Finance Committee on Tuesday approved a $500,000 loan for Helios USA LLC to purchase and install equipment.
Helios is a start-up solar panel manufacturer. For months the company has been looking for about 40,000 square feet of space for a location in the Milwaukee area for its operations, considering several sites.
According to the MEDC, the company is considering a location for the plant in the Canal Street Commerce Center at 1301 W. Canal St., Milwaukee, in the Menomonee Valley. The Canal Street Commerce Center is a 144,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, anchored by Proven Direct, that was built at the former Milwaukee Stockyards site.
However, Helios CEO Steve Ostrenga told BizTimes Milwaukee that the company is still looking at multiple properties. The MEDC loan is for equipment, and is not tied to a specific site.
If the company decides to use the MEDC loan it will have to occupy a building in the city of Milwaukee.
The company expects to have a lease signed for a property within several weeks. It is in the final stages of negotiations, Ostrenga said.
Helios received a $1 million federal loan from the State Energy Program, which is part of the federal stimulus package.
The plant is expected begin production by the middle of this year with 20 to 30 employees.

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