Massachusetts, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Schott Solar’s Albuquerque manufacturing facility will reach 85 megawatts (MW) of production capacity by year end and the company will end production at its Billerica, Massachusetts facility effective July 31, in an effort to streamline the company’s global manufacturing footprint.
In May, SCHOTT opened a US $100 million manufacturing site in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is now the world’s first site to manufacture both photovoltaic modules and receivers for solar thermal power plants under one roof. The Albuquerque facility currently employs approximately 300 people and at maximum capacity, it could employ as many as 1,500.
The Billerica site currently employs approximately 180 full-time employees, and 45 temporary workers, who manufacture 300 watt photovoltaic (PV) modules. Due to the size and scale of the Billerica facility, SCHOTT determined further investment in the site was not a viable option. The annual capacity of the site is 15 megawatts. The company has filed a WARN notification notifying employees of the company’s intent to end operations at the location.
“As one of the pioneer solar technology facilities, Billerica has an important place in the history of photovoltaic industry development. Solar manufacturing has evolved over the years, and current production facilities, such as our state-of-the-art facility in Albuquerque, are built at a scale that is not achievable in Billerica,” stated Dr. Gerald Fine, president and CEO of SCHOTT North America, Inc.
Employees affected by the announcement will be offered jobs at other SCHOTT sites where available. The company will be contacting regional agencies to assist affected employees with job placement and training programs.