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Solar Company That Received $400 Million Taxpayer Loan Lays Off Large Percentage of Work Force

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By Doug Powers  •  March 1, 2012 08:46 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Every few days now there are stories like this, and I always have to double check to make sure it’s not a repeat of previous stories we’ve already discussed. Unfortunately, they don’t usually turn out to be reruns.

From the Denver Post:

Longmont-based Abound Solar, recipient of a $400 million federal loan guarantee to expand solar panel production, said Tuesday it is laying off 280 workers and delaying a new factory in Indiana.

The layoffs represent 180 full-time workers and, according to the Longmont Times-Call, an additional 100 part-time employees. That is about a 70 percent reduction of Abound’s Colorado workforce.

“We are facing tough market conditions and falling prices” said Steve Abely, Abound’s chief financial officer.

Abound will take six to nine months to install new equipment and develop a solar panel that will be 20 percent more efficient and more cost competitive, the company said.

“Hopefully by then the market will recover,” Abely said.

According to the company, the Department of Energy continues to be supportive. Only people spending somebody else’s millions could maintain an excitement level about a business recovery plan with the word “hopefully” in it.

Flashback to 2010:

In his weekly radio address to the nation Saturday, Obama said Abound “will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

(h/t Weasel Zippers and Tina Korbe)

**Written by Doug Powers

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