Solyndra, the solar panel maker that last year attracted a $535 million federal loan guarantee for its new factory, will close an older factory and lay off workers, according to .
Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison said that the Fab 2 facility, which opened seven weeks ago, is much more efficient than its current facility, Fab 1. The company is also scaling back its plan for total production capacity, which it expected to be 610 megawatts by 2013 but now will be approximately 300 MW.
The layoffs will affect 40 permanent workers and 150 temporary workers. There was no official word from Solyndra as of this morning, on when the layoffs and factory closure would commence.
Price competition from China, where manufacturers such as Yingli and Suntech are making more conventional and lower cost photovoltaic technologies, has made it difficult for state of the art technologies stateside to get a foothold, The Times� Todd Woody reports.
Today�s news is the latest in a series of setbacks for Solyndra, which withdrew its plans for an initial public offering in June amidst weak demand in the capital markets, high manufacturing costs and a prodigious cash burn.
Solyndra was a darling of the industry, even drawing President Barack Obama out to its plant. But the company, which installed Harrison in July, is now struggling to justify the early hype by bringing costs down from $3/watt to $2/watt by 2013 and ramping up revenues.