Low solar prices and global competition continue to rock solar manufacturers. On the heels of Evergreen Solar filing for bankruptcy on Monday, on Tuesday, German solar maker Solon announced that it will shutter a Tucson, Ariz. panel factory and cut 60 jobs.
Solon says it will instead focus on solar project development in the U.S. and will source its solar modules from partners. The company says it will also look to develop new solar products for the U.S. market.
The news is yet another sign that competition from Chinese solar manufacturers and low costs of panels are leading to consolidation in the solar manufacturing industry. Combine that with declining solar subsidies in key European markets such as Italy and Germany, and sales for many solar companies have been significantly disrupted.
On Monday, struggling solar thin-film maker Ascent Solar Technologies said it plans to sell a stake in the company and license its technology to Chinese conglomerate TFG Radiant Group. TFG Radiant Group promises to spend roughly $165 million to build a factory in China to make solar panels using Ascent’s technology.
The most recent solar earnings were pretty difficult to hear. SunPower widened its second-quarter losses to $147.9 million, or $1.51 per share, from $6.2 million, or $0.07 per share, for the year-ago quarter. At the same time, SunPower reported $592.3 million in revenue for the third quarter, up 54 percent from $384.2 million in the year-ago period.
First Solar also reported lackluster second-quarter financial results. The company’s net income dived 61.6 percent down to $61.1 million from $159 million in the same quarter a year ago. That led to earnings of $0.70 per share, down 63 percent from $1.84 per share a year ago. At the same time, sales dropped 9.4 percent to $532.8 million from $587.9 million during the same period.