Another solar panel manufacturer is laying off employees because current global supply of solar panels far exceeds demand. Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) is temporarily suspending production of “Uni-Solar,” a thin filmed solar laminate, and furloughing 140 workers according to a report in the Detroit News.
The two Uni-Solar production plants are located in a “tax-free industrial park north of downtown” Detroit and “lost $70.8 million during its last fiscal year that ended June 30, including $31.5 million in its fourth quarter.” Earlier this year, EDC let go nearly 300 employees.
As of this morning, ECD’s stock price had plummeted to .41 cents per share. It’s 52 week high was $5.80.
A local news outlet, WOOD-TV, had the money quote: “supply for solar products worldwide is more than double the demand, so there is no need to make more.”
This is bad news for Colorado because taxpayers just threw a bunch of incentives at General Electric to locate a solar panel manufacturing plant in the state. Colorado already has several solar panel manufacturers including Abound Solar, Ascent Solar, and PrimeStar.
While losing a competitor might be good for the remaining manufacturers, an over-saturated market means more dark days on the horizon for solar panel manufacturers and thus for taxpayers.