Jobs to go as Solon shuts Tucson facility down16. August 2011 | Top News, Markets & Trends, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Stuart
Germany-based Solon SE has announced the closure of its Tucson module and photovoltaic system manufacturing facility, as part of a new U.S. operations strategy. Sixty jobs will be lost.
In a statement issued, Solon said that manufacturing operations will be phased out by the end of this October. Of the 130 employees based at the company’s U.S. headquarters, 60 will be let go.
The remaining 70 jobs, in the areas of sales and marketing, engineering, research and product development, project management, finance, and other support functions will be kept.
The reason for the turnaround was attributed to the U.S.' evolving solar market. "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," explained Dan Alcombright, Solon’s president and CEO of North America.
Although it is unknown if the company will ramp up capacity elsewhere to compensate for the lost production, it did say that it will be investing in, among other things, new product development. It added that before the end of the year, new products will be introduced to the market. It is unclear, however, what these are.
Alcombright commented: "We will continue to aggressively expand in Tucson and our other U.S. offices to support our efforts on commercial and large-scale project development, supply chain excellence, and new product development."
It was also said that Solon Corporation will partner with both utilities and commercial businesses, in order for it to focus on its core business as a vertically integrated system solutions provider.
Solon opened its Tucson module and photovoltaic system manufacturing facility in October 2008. Initial production capacity was 60 megawatts peak, and 100 people were employed. Both crystalline and thin film modules are produced there, as are photovoltaic systems.
At the time, Tucson Regional Economic Organization president and CEO Joe Snell commented, "We expect Solon to be a cornerstone of very large solar economic development in Southern Arizona."
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