Schott Solar to shutter PV module production facility in Billerica, MA

Schott Solar will shutter its 15-MW module manufacturing facility in Billerica, MA, effective July 31 as part of efforts to streamline its global manufacturing operations. The move will affect 180 full-time employees and 45 temporary workers at the plant, although the company said it will offer jobs to those affected at other sites where available.

The company stated that because of limitations in the size and scale of the Billerica factory (which was acquired by Schott in 2005 after buying out JV partner RWE), it decided further investment in the site was not a viable option.

Schott recently inaugurated a $100 million state-of-the-art solar manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, NM, where it expects to reach 85 MW of production capacity by the end of 2009.

"As one of the pioneer solar technology facilities, Billerica has an important place in the history of photovoltaic industry development," said Gerald Fine, president/CEO of Schott North America. "Solar manufacturing has evolved over the years, and current production facilities are built at a scale that is not achievable in Billerica.”

The company said that customer questions and warranties on products manufactured at the Massachusetts plant will continue to be handled through its North American sales office in Roseville, CA. Schott Solar leases the Billerica facility, which will be returned to the landlord once vacated.

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