06-02-2009, SCHOTT North America, Inc.
SCHOTT Solar Streamlining North American Production
• Phase 1 capacity at company’s Albuquerque site will reach 85MW by year endJune 2, 2009 (Billerica, Massachusetts) – SCHOTT Solar announced today that it intends to end production at its Billerica, Massachusetts facility effective July 31st in an effort to streamline the company’s global manufacturing footprint. The Billerica site currently employs approximately 180 full-time employees (plus 45 temporary workers) who manufacture 300 watt photovoltaic (PV) modules. The company has filed a WARN notification, notifying employees of the company’s intent to end operations at the location.
• Production at Billerica, Mass. facility will end July 31st
• Preparing for closure of Billerica site for end of November
SCHOTT Solar cited the need to streamline its global manufacturing capabilities. In May the company inaugurated a $100 million state-of-the-art manufacturing site for products used to generate solar electricity in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Due to the limitations in the size and scale of the Billerica facility, SCHOTT Solar determined further investment in the site was not a viable option. The annual capacity of the site is 15 megawatts. SCHOTT Solar acquired sole ownership of the site in 2005 after buying-out joint-venture partner RWE.
“This very difficult decision was reached as SCHOTT Solar works towards streamlining its manufacturing operations. We are committed to treating all employees with fairness and respect during this transition,” stated Mark Finocchario, President and CEO of SCHOTT Solar, Inc. “We appreciate the support and dedication of all of our employees.”
Employees affected by the announcement will be offered jobs at other SCHOTT sites where available. The company will be contacting regional agencies to assist affected employees with job placement and training programs.
“As one of the pioneer solar technology facilities, Billerica has an important place in the history of photovoltaic industry development. Solar manufacturing has evolved over the years, and current production facilities are built at a scale that is not achievable in Billerica,” stated Dr. Gerald Fine, President and CEO of SCHOTT North America, Inc.
Customer questions and warranties on products manufactured by Billerica will continue to be handled through the company’s North American sales office in Roseville, CA. SCHOTT Solar currently leases the Billerica facility, which will be returned to the landlord once vacated. No other SCHOTT sites are affected by this announcement.
About SCHOTT Solar
SCHOTT Solar, with its high quality products, enables the potential of the sun as a nearly inexhaustible source of energy to be utilized. SCHOTT Solar produces important components for photovoltaic applications and solar energy power plants. In the photovoltaic industry, the company is one of the few integrated manufacturers of crystalline silicon wafers, cells and modules. The production of the wafers is ensured by the WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture, which also secures the supply of silicon, enabling long-term growth. In thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar also describes itself an advanced supplier due to having over twenty years of experience. And in the production of receivers for solar power plants, SCHOTT Solar sees itself as a market and technology leader. Receivers from SCHOTT Solar are key components in large-scale power plants that generate electricity from solar energy centrally on the basis of parabolic trough technology and are able to supply entire cities with power. SCHOTT Solar has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain. The innovative power and technological competence of the company date back to the late 1950s. SCHOTT Solar is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international SCHOTT Group. SCHOTT develops special materials, components and systems for the household appliance, pharmaceutical, solar energy, electronics, optical and automotive industries. With approximately 17,000 employees, the SCHOTT Group generated a worldwide turnover of about 3 billion USD in fiscal year 2007/2008.
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