The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Solyndra To File for Bankruptcy; 1,100 Lose Jobs

Fremont-Calif.-based Solyndra, which in 2009 received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, announced Wednesday that it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and immediately lay off 1,100 full-time and temporary employees.

“The success of the solar industry cannot be viewed through the lens of one company,” said Resch in a written comment. “Like all industries, some companies will fare differently than others. While the closure of Solyndra’s operations is disappointing, the solar industry as a whole is a bright spot in the U.S. economy.”

The company had downsized its planned growth starting in 2010 when the CIGS thin-film manufacturer pulled an IPO, restructured its executive team, and announced plans to close one of its California plants and delay expansion of its newest facility.

According to its website, Solyndra was in the process of ramping up to 300 MW at its California facility. In 2010, the company completed more than 1,000 installations across the world. It may now look to sell its business and licensing of its advanced CIGS technology.

The company received much fanfare for its innovative rooftop technology and big ambitions. It was held up as an example of a company thriving behind American technology and manufacturing during visits by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and President Obama.

According to a company press release, Solyndra saw strong growth in the first half of 2011 and secured a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops in North America. Officials said the company could not “achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers.” The company went on to say a global oversupply of solar panels, falling prices and uncertainty in traditional markets such as Europe led to its decision to exit the solar business.

The news out of California ends what has proven to be a tough month for solar manufacturers in America. U.S.-based Evergreen Solar, also a recipient of strong government backing, filed for bankruptcy and shut down U.S. manufacturing while Germany-based Solon decided to close its American manufacturing operations in favor of focusing on its role as a developer. In both instances, competition from China was cited as a factor in the moves.

According to SEIA, the U.S. solar industry employs more than 100,000 workers at more than 5,500 companies. The trade organization also pointed to a recent report that found the U.S. was a net exporter of $1.9 billion worth of solar energy products in 2010.

“In the last 18 months, solar companies have either added or expanded almost 60 factories in the U.S. and driven the installed cost of solar down by 30 percent,” said Resch. 

Though more than 1,000 jobs were lost due to Wednesday’s announcement, Krop says a strong solar presence can lead to stable gains in employment. They’ll be in construction, however, and not likely in manufacturing. Predictable subsidies, said Krop, will lead to more development, which will then create a strong construction base.

Before we get to that point, said Krop, we’ll have to get through industry shake-ups, such as the Solyndra bankruptcy.

“It’s going to be such a high-profile event,” said Krop. “You will have naysayers point to it, saying it’s too expensive of a technology. In the end, it’s about getting solar on your rooftops and into your communities in a cost-effective manner.” 

Westinghouse Solar's Barry Cinnamon has further commentary on the announcement here, and Arno Harris of Recurrent Energy commented here

Below is a video interview with a Solyndra official recorded last year at SPI.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

Electricity Deregulation

Japan Electricity Deregulation: Birth of Municipally Owned Electric Utilities

Junko Movellan, Correspondent The upcoming retail electricity deregulation in Japan will create a way for Japanese municipal governments to produce...
Solar panel

REC Joins O Capital in Egypt to Tap Solar Panel Market in Middle East, Africa

Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg REC Solar ASA has signed a deal with O Capital, the renewable energy arm of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Hold...
Solar PV

OneEnergy Seeks Authority to Build 6 MW Solar PV Facility in Southern Maryland

Jennifer Delony OneEnergy Renewables is seeking regulatory approval in Maryland to build a 6 MW solar PV facility in Somerset County,...
Solar water heating

California Regulators Propose Expansion of Eligibility Requirements for Solar Water Heating Program

Jennifer Delony The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed expanding the eligibility requirements for customers seeking ...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks politics of fear vs. politics of hope

Rudd, who led the Australian parliament from 2007 to 2010, told the Summit audience tha...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Frontier Offsite Office at Solar Power International (2 mins....

Solar Frontier will be hosting an offsite meeting room offering our gues...

PV-Diesel Hybrid Systems to Reduce Diesel Demand

Substantial fuel cost saving potential has made PV technology the centre...

COMPANY BLOGS

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade sch...

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospe...

Going The Extra Mile

Selling efficiency takes perseverance, creativity, and a willingness to ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS