Solyndra shutters manufacturing, lays off workforce; plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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Cylindrical CIGS thin-film manufacturer Solyndra has announced that it has suspended its manufacturing operations, immediately laid off its 1100 full-time and temporary employees, and intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Fremont, CA-based company cited “the negative impacts of global economic and solar industry market conditions” as the reason for the actions. The firm also said it is evaluating its options, which could include “a sale of the business and licensing of its advanced CIGS technology and manufacturing expertise.” 

Despite what the company characterized as “strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops,” Solyndra said it “could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers.”

“This competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that finance solar systems,” the company added.

“We are incredibly proud of our employees, and we would like to thank our investors, channel partners, customers and suppliers, for the years of support that allowed us to bring our innovative technology to market,' said Brian Harrison, Solyndra's president/CEO. “Distributed rooftop solar power makes sense, and our customers clearly recognize the advantages of Solyndra systems. Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion. Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate.”

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