From electric planes to hemp bioplastics, Colorado offers $7M in incentives

Five different companies on Thursday received approval from the Colorado Economic Development Commission for up to $6.94 million in state tax incentives linked to the creation of 745 new jobs along the northern Front Range.

The largest award, $2.95 million in job-creation incentive tax credits, went to Project Galvanic, a Colorado-based electric aircraft manufacturer, which is considering locating a $24.5 million manufacturing facility in… Centennial or Jefferson County considering. The company expects to add 433 net new jobs, primarily in manufacturing, and pays an average annual wage of $80,014. Other cities in the running are Greensboro, NC; Lansing, Mich., and Madison, Wis.

“This project would support the state’s economic goals by increasing Colorado’s aerospace business density and creating high-paying jobs in aerospace, one of the most important industries to Colorado’s economy,” said Michelle Hadwiger, Director for Global Business Development for Colorado The Department of Economic Development announced to members of the EDC.

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As is usual with most incentive awards, the company’s name has not been publicly disclosed. Bye Aerospace is Colorado’s best-known electric aircraft manufacturer. The Centennial company has developed a training aircraft that allows aspiring pilots to get the hours they need at a much lower cost in flight time, and is also working on business jets that can carry more passengers.

But Bye has many more employees than the nine employees listed at Project Galvanic. XTI Aircraft Company, also in Arapahoe County, is a younger company developing the TriFan 600, a hybrid-electric business jet that can take off and land vertically on buildings like a helicopter and travel between 700 and 900 miles. It has a backlog of more than 300 orders but doesn’t expect to deliver its planes before 2027.

The second largest award, worth $2.76 million, went to Project Sprout, a UK manufacturer of vertical or indoor farming equipment and technology that is looking to establish an operating base to serve customers in North America. Washington and Massachusetts are also in the running.

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“Operating our first station in the US is a real challenge,” said Lawrence Ross, chief product officer at Intelligent Growth Solutions, the company behind Project Sprout.

IGS is considering Larimer County for 114 new net jobs with an average annual salary of $98,991. Positions include engineers, supply chain managers and human resources, legal, marketing and sales staff. Of the company’s current 180 employees, only one works in Colorado.

Project Hudson, an Indianapolis-based development and construction company specializing in multi-family projects, is looking for new regional headquarters in Denver, as well as in Phoenix and Indianapolis. Of the company’s current 185 employees, 88 are already with Lone Tree.

It received $642,569 in tax credit approval for job growth incentives associated with the creation of 129 jobs. These jobs would pay an average annual wage of $111,526.

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“Expanding the housing stock is critical to sustaining economic growth in our state,” Hadwiger said.

The EDC awarded two smaller incentive packages to Colorado companies looking to expand. Project Dunia, a manufacturer of hemp-based bioplastics that are compostable and can be used for injection molding applications, intends to build a new manufacturing line in Weld County that will require an investment of $20 million and employ 28 people with an average annual wage of 28 would be $55,432. It’s eligible for up to $203,313 in state tax credits if it chooses Weld County over a Texas location.

Project Spike in the Denver metro area received $383,100 in job growth tax credits in exchange for creating 41 new jobs with an average annual wage of $96,732. The company, which currently has 21 employees, manufactures materials for the medical device industry.

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