Maxeon shuts down French solar module factory


From pv magazine France

Maxeon Solar Technologies has halted production at its solar module production facility in Porcelette, France.

The Porcelette plant, which Maxeon has owned since 2012, was recently upgraded to produce the company's Air rooftop modules. The light panels can be glued to commercial and industrial rooftops. The company had also received about €5 million ($4.9 million) of funding from the European Union and €400,000 of additional funding to relaunch the manufacturing facility. However, it decided not to participate in these subsidy programs.

“Due to the continued challenging pricing environment that has affected the solar PV industry, compounded by the recent increase in costs and import taxes on raw materials, the production costs of the factory does not make it competitive anymore on the European market,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine. “Hence the decision to continue to serve European customers through a manufacturing scheme that allows us to bring the best technology to the market at a competitive price.”

The factory was too small to globally compete, the company said. It was Maxeon's last production plant in Europe, as it closed another facility in Toulouse in 2021. From now on, the continent will be served via the group's other sites, notably in Mexico and Malaysia.

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The group is also considering the possibility of expanding its production capacity in the United States. It said it will also retain its European headquarters and its main European warehouse in France, near Lyon.

“Maxeon continues to employ almost twice the number of people in France who worked at Porcelette,” said the spokesperson.

*The article was updated on October 11 to specify that Maxeon decided not to participate in the subsidy programs aimed at supporting the factory.

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