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First Solar’s Mesa Factory Delay Will Mean Job Losses

Post Time:Mar 05,2012Classify:Company NewsView:411


The move by 

First Solar 

“It’s obviously disappointing, but we recognize the dynamics of what’s going on right now in that market,” said Mesa Mayor


The global market for solar hit a wall this year as more capacity came online just as government incentives in prime markets such as Germany and Italy have been scaled back. The result has led to a glut of panels on the market, and led to many companies cutting back.


Along with the Mesa delay, Tempe-based First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) said it was cutting production at its other plants to about 60 percent to 70 percent of capacity amid a

While the move means Mesa and the Valley will have to do without the roughly 600 jobs from the plant, 


“The First Solar announcement is further evidence of volatility in the solar market, but First Solar is doing it right by not hiring prematurely and then having to lay off,” he said.

The move likely means that suppliers who had planned for First Solar’s opening also will be in limbo. 


At the same time, First Solar will finish the facility in May and bring in 130 engineers and administrative personnel who will staff the building, Broome said.


“If they were going to discontinue building the plant, that would be disconcerting,” he said.

First Solar has not set a timetable for when the plant would open, saying only it will take improvement in market conditions to get production going. Broome said he believed it could be a couple years before panels were coming out of the factory.


First Solar also will not be eligible for the bulk of the incentives that helped lure it to Mesa, as many were based on a state tax credit formula for the number of jobs created and the wages associated with that work.


The site did receive about $10 million worth of infrastructure improvements through Mesa, but that was work that would be used to make that area business-ready and won’t go to waste, Broome said.


First Solar initially 


It had pushed that back to 2013 for panel production before eventually just taking it off the board -- at least for the time being.


Source: http://www.solarglazingmag.comAuthor: shangyi

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