Update: Abound Solar

19 March of 2012 by

about cdte Update: Abound Solar

Last month, Abound Solar, a solar panel manufacturer working in the cadmium telluride (CdTe) materials system, made some troubling announcements.

Abound is halting production of its first-generation, 10.5-percent-efficiency CdTe PV module in order to transition to building its next-generation, higher-efficiency module. That transition will result “in the temporary reduction of approximately 180 permanent jobs” from its production facilities, according to a release and FAQ from the firm, which was the beneficiary of a $400 million DOE loan guarantee — only $70 million of which has been drawn down.

According to sources close to the company, the layoff numbers were for Abound Solar employees only. Approximately 75 contractors who worked on the line and in other positions in the company were also let go.

Most of Abound’s production chambers are turned off. Last week, the firm ran experimental panels on its production equipment. This week, Abound will not be running anything, and next week, Abound will be producing standard panels for a potential client.

The firm is looking to lower its burn rate from $2 million per week to $2 million per month, according to sources close to the firm. The sources have indicated that there is roughly $7 million in the bank, a painfully short runway, and that vendors are being paid in a very selective manner.

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