October 16, 2012 Was Not A Good Day For Clean Energy Companies
The announcement by Sunpower Corporation on October 16, 2012 that it would reorganize its Philippines manufacturing operations and reduce its workforce was overshadowed by the bankruptcy announcement of A123 Systems.
Sunpower stated, in part, that
As part of this initiative, the company will temporarily idle six of the 12 lines in its Fab 2 cell manufacturing plant and 20 percent of panel manufacturing in the Philippines to significantly reduce inventory, lower operational costs and improve efficiency. As a result, the overall blended utilization for the fourth quarter will be approximately 60 percent. Additionally, the company will reduce its workforce by approximately 900 employees with the reductions occurring primarily in the Philippines.
Sunpower received five (5) solar-related patents under the US Patent Office’s (USPTO) Green Technology Pilot Program prior to its closing in early 2012. Details of these inventions may be found in Way Better Patents’ USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program Discovery and Analysis Report.
Difficult market conditions continue to plague the solar industry.