29 February 2012
Abound Solar announced the company will be laying off 280 workers in Colorado (US) and putting plans for a new factory in Indiana on hold.
The layoffs will cut about 70% of Abound’s workforce in Longmont, Colorado and will include about 180 full-time workers and 100 part-time. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Abely, said that the reason is falling prices and tough market conditions.
Abound was the recipient of a $400 million Federal loan guarantee from the US government to expand production. The company has used about $70 million of the loan guarantee but, according to terms of the loan, will not be able to use any ore until it begins production and hires again. Abely said the company aims to rehire workers toward the end of the year. The fate of the facility that was planned for Tipton, Indiana (US) has yet to be determined.
Abound Solar manufactures thin-film cadmium telluride photovoltaic modules. In February the company announced production of an 82.8W module, which represents a 12.5% solar efficiency--verified by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Abound produced several hundred of these "AB2" modules in 2012 on commercial production equipment. The company is ceasing production of its current generation product to accelerate the manufacturing process and make the equipment changes needed to launch its new module.