Amonix Inc., a closely held maker of solar panels that qualified for $21.5 million in federal subsidies, closed its 214,000-square-foot plant in Nevada.
The company, based in Seal Beach, California, plans to restructure its operations and will vacate the factory by early August, according to an e-mailed statement today. It also has a research lab in Torrance, California, and an office in Singapore, according to its website.
Amonix said the decision to close the plant was based on “challenging” pricing for solar panels and low demand for its concentrated photovoltaic systems, according to the statement.
“We looked at several options and were really hoping that we could keep the North Las Vegas manufacturing facility, but it is not economically possible,” the company said.
Amonix was offered a U.S. tax credit of $5.9 million and received a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Energy Department in 2007, according to Jen Stutsman, an agency spokeswoman. It didn’t receive a loan guarantee under the program that backed the failed solar manufacturers Solyndra LLC and Abound Solar Inc.
“The global solar industry is facing significant challenges,” Stutsman said today in an e-mail. “While today’s news is disappointing, the United States simply can’t afford to cede America’s role in the growing, highly competitive solar energy industry.”
Amonix “has not realized taxable income to utilize” the $5.9 tax million credit it was offered, the company said. Concentrated photovoltaic systems use lenses that focus sunlight on solar cells to boost efficiency.
“Amonix plans to restructure its operations to build a successful long-term future,” Rhone Resch, chief executive officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Amonix has been supported with great hope by an array of private investors as well as Republican and Democratic policy makers, who all understand our need to invest in this growing industry.”
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