SpectraWatt stops construction on solar-cell plant in Oregon, may relocate, local news story says

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SpectraWatt, the solar cell spinoff from Intel, has stopped construction on its Hillsboro, OR, manufacturing facility and may seek another plant location because of financing difficulties, according to a news report in the Oregonian.

The story says that Andrew Wilson, SpectraWatt’s CEO,

…confirmed Wednesday that the company had suspended construction plans and was searching inside and outside the state for an existing building to retrofit for less money.

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Wilson also told the paper that the company

“…still intends to begin shipping solar cells five or six months after the originally planned mid-2009 start date. The original investors remain on board, he said.

“The capacity of our factory, wherever it is, will still be the same,” at 60 MW, Wilson said. Asked whether SpectraWatt was considering New York or Pennsylvania, as rumored, Wilson said: “Both have some nice incentives for this type of facility, and there are certainly others also.”

But the main issue, he said, is financing. “The debt markets have gotten so expensive. Financing the last pieces is problematic.”

The report also noted that

SpectraWatt’s decision to apply the brakes was abrupt. Hillsboro officials were 85% done with reviewing its building-permit applications on Dec. 17, when design and engineering firm CH2M Hill told them to put the project on indefinite hold.

To read the entire news story, click here.

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