BP Solar has closed down its silicon casting, wafering, and cell manufacturing facility based in Frederick, MD, effective Friday March 26. Approximately 320 positions have been eliminated out of 430 positions at the location. The company claims that this decision was aimed at cutting the overall cost of its products.
With its closure of high-cost manufacturing locations, which began in 1Q09, BP Solar has reduced unit costs by more than 45% and is positioned to continue to profitably grow its worldwide market share.
“Solar prices declined between 40 and 50% since the onset of the financial and economic crisis, compressing industry margins and driving solar power towards grid competitive pricing,” said BP Solar CEO Rayad Fezzani. “By shifting our supply to a high quality, low cost supply base to serve both distribution customers and large scale projects, we have strengthened our position as a provider of competitive solar solutions with our offer of the highest lifetime value.
“This was a difficult decision and we deeply regret the impact it will have on our employees and the community. We have a long history in Frederick and I am thankful for the support of all our colleagues, the community and local, state and federal officials,” said Fezzani.
All impacted eligible employees will continue to receive full pay and benefits for three months, followed by severance packages, job placement assistance and transitional resources.
BP Solar will maintain its US presence in sales and marketing, research and technology, project development, as well as key business support activities.