BP Solar Closes Maryland Plant Due to Market Competition

Though BP Solar is a big name in the renewable energy industry and maintains steady investment in wind energy technology, its efforts in solar development have endured a significant blow.
In March 2010, the company announced that it would be ceasing operations at their Frederick, Maryland manufacturing facility. BP Solar opened the facility just three and a half Stuart Cinema Nyc years ago. With lower cost solar materials and equipment being imported from China and even India, BP Solar simply determined the move to be the most financially practical.
Out of 430 employees at the Frederick plant, 320 were laid off. Production involved with silicon casting, wafering, and cell manufacturing was ceased and all workers associated with these departments lost their jobs. BP Solar plans to shift all the remaining in-house manufacturing to other low-cost joint ventures to ultimately become more affordable to their market. Sales and marketing, research and technology, project development and other business support functions will remain.
Reyad Fezzani, CEO of BP Solar, stated “Solar prices declined between 40 and 50 percent since the onset of the financial and economic crisis, compressing Tools Used In Industry margins and driving solar power towards grid competitive pricing.” To combat this decrease in pricing, solar companies have looked to decrease costs. One of the ways to decrease costs is to hire cheaper labor in foreign countries, which is what BP has done.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2009, BP Solar also closed several other high-cost manufacturing locations and consequentially reduced their prices by 45%. Most solar companies have found themselves drastically lowering their inventory values due to strong international competition and depressed silicon prices.

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