Abound Solar lays off 180
Thin-film solar power panel manufacturer Abound Solar Inc. on Tuesday temporarily laid off 180 people at its Longmont factory as the company converts to making new, better solar power panels.
Abound was the beneficiary in 2010 of a $400 million loan guarantee under the federal stimulus program to support expanded manufacturing and jobs. The guarantee was announced by President Barack Obama in a radio address.
Abound, whose headquarters are in Loveland, said Tuesday it will stop making its “first generation” solar power panel, capable of converting about 10.5 percent of the sunshine that hits it into electricity. After the layoffs, the company will employ about 130 people, said Steve Abely, Abound’s CFO.
The company said it will spend the next six to nine months working on its next-generation solar power panel, one that converts 12.5 percent to 13 percent of sunlight into electricity.
That’s a minimum of a 20 percent jump in efficiency, Abely said.
Abound will start manufacturing the new panel by the end of 2012, the company said in its announcement.
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