German television station, rbb has reported that parts of the U.S. company’s workforce want to take over the facilities in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, which are currently under threat of closure. In mid-April, First Solar announced that it wanted to stop manufacturing in Frankfurt (Oder) by this October, thus affecting 1,200 employees.
It is possible that a core workforce could continue production, First SolarsPeter Staud told rbb. However, module production should only be focused on small rooftop systems. To date, the companys modules have primarily been used for large-scale photovoltaic parks.
In response, Frankfurts Mayor, Martin Wilke promised regional support. One must first see whether the general conditions and business plan fits, Wilke told rbb. Company spokesman, David Wortmann added that the new business model would not be allowed to directly compete with the core business of First Solar. Another important criterion would be that the companys innovative technology is protected.
A spokesman for the Brandenburg ministry had earlier told German news agency, dpa-AFX that the search for an investor for First Solar is ongoing. The state government and a working group with representatives from different ministries are trying to figure out a solution. It will look at how the site could continue to be used.
Translated by Becky Beetz.