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Germany's Solon To Close U.S. Manufacturing

Solon announced Monday that it will shutter its Tucson, Ariz.-based photovoltaic module manufacturing facility by the end of October while shifting its focus to utility-scale project development.

About 60 of the 130 position at the Tucson site are expected to be eliminated. Jobs will remain in sales and marketing, engineering, research and product development, project management, finance, and other support functions. Tucson will remain the headquarters of the company’s North American operation.

“We regret the near-term impact of this business decision on our employees and the Tucson community, but as a company Solon is adapting to a rapidly changing solar market,” said Dan Alcombright, President and CEO of North America for Solon.

The move for the German-based company comes during a period in which the global PV industry deals with a softening European market and an inventory of about 8.6 gigawatts, which has contributed to the falling price of modules. The news comes a day after Evergreen Solar announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, laying off 65 employees and stopping production at its Michigan facility.

According to reports, as many as 60 jobs in Germany may also be eliminated and the company could also look to cut costs at its Italian operations.

Solon is listed by SEIA as the developer of two utility-scale projects currently under development — 15 megawatts planned for Fresno, Calif., and 5 MW in Tucson. It also has a 17 MW facility under construction in Gila Bend, Ariz., as well as one existing 2 MW facility in Vacaville, Calif.

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