First Solar delays Arizona manufacturing
The move by First Solar Inc. to delay manufacturing at its planned Mesa facility will mean a loss of jobs, but the city will continue pursuing development near the plant.
First Solar announced Tuesday it would finish the more than $300 million facility near Signal Butte and Elliott roads, but it wouldn’t start manufacturing as planned in 2013.
“It’s obviously disappointing, but we recognize the dynamics of what’s going on right now in that market,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.
The global market for solar hit a wall this year as more capacity came online just as government incentives in prime markets such as Germany and Italy have been scaled back. The result has led to a glut of panels on the market, and led to many companies cutting back.
Along with the Mesa delay, Tempe-based First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) said it was cutting production at its other plants to about 60 percent to 70 percent of capacity amid a larger fourth-quarter loss. That included idling four of its production lines in Germany and rolling its Malaysian production lines out of service to install new equipment and make upgrades.
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