Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Or add to your news reader: Add to My Yahoo! Add to Google

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Optisolar cuts half of workforce

This is what I mean about non-functional credit markets and the potential to derail solar projects.

-- California solar company slashes half its staff --
LOS ANGELES, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Solar power company OptiSolar
Inc has cut nearly 300 jobs, or half its work force, and halted
construction of a manufacturing plant because it could not secure
the funding it needed to expand, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The privately held company, which made headlines last year
when it secured a deal to build a 550-megawatt solar power plant
in Central California for utility PG&E Corp , said its
biggest contract would not be affected by the move because
construction was not scheduled to begin until 2010.
OptiSolar spokesman Alan Bernheimer said the company had
eliminated 185 positions at its Hayward, California headquarters
and an additional 105 jobs in Sacramento, the location of a
planned manufacturing plant.
"It's on hold until we are able to attract financial support,"
Bernheimer said, adding that the company was applying for loan
guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The financial crisis and tight credit markets have put
expansion of the high-flying renewable energy industry on hold in
recent weeks, though many companies are encouraged by
President-elect Barack Obama's pledge to double alternative energy
production in three years as part of a plan to stimulate economic
"We'd like to take the Obama administration at their word,"
Bernheimer said. "We're sort of the poster child for what they're
talking about -- renewable energy, green jobs and U.S.-based
high-tech manufacturing."
Once it is completed, the Sacramento plant will be capable of
producing more than 600 MW of OptiSolar's thin film solar panels a
year and is expected to employ about 1,000 people, Bernheimer
Until that plant is able to begin production, OptiSolar is
relying on a smaller manufacturing facility in Hayward to fulfill
its current commitments to customers.
OptiSolar so-called thin film solar panels are made from
amorphous silicon and are cheaper to produce than traditional
crystalline silicon panels.
Its deal with PG&E, announced in August, comes as California
utilities are scrambling to meet the state's mandated goal of
producing 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources
by 2010.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
((; +1-213-955-6755; Reuters

No comments:

Blog Archive