American Solar Panel Maker Moves to China

January 14th, 2011
in News

Evergreen SolarThe New York Times:  Evergreen Solar is was the third largest solar panel manufacturer in the U.S.  In March Evergreen will close its main plant in the U.S., a 2 1/2 year old facility in Devens, Massachusetts and move manufacturing to China.

Follow up:

 Here's what Keith Bradsher wrote in The NY Times:

Aided by at least $43 million in assistance from the government of Massachusetts and an innovative solar energy technology, Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States.

But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March and shifting production to a joint venture with a Chinese company in central China. Evergreen cited the much higher government support available in China.

Evergreen, in announcing its move to China, was unusually candid about its motives. Michael El-Hillow, the chief executive, said in a statement that his company had decided to close the Massachusetts factory in response to plunging prices for solar panels. World prices have fallen as much as two-thirds in the last three years — including a drop of 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter alone.

Chinese manufacturers, Mr. El-Hillow said in the statement, have been able to push prices down sharply because they receive considerable help from the Chinese government and state-owned banks, and because manufacturing costs are generally lower in China.

“While the United States and other Western industrial economies are beneficiaries of rapidly declining installation costs of solar energy, we expect the United States will continue to be at a disadvantage from a manufacturing standpoint,” he said.

The plant closing will result in 800 workers losing their jobs.  Read more at The New York Times.....

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