BP Solar recently announced that it is going to shut down its Maryland manufacturing facility in a move to lower costs. According to a release from BP Solar, "The company has ceased silicon casting, wafering, and cell manufacturing at its Frederick, Maryland facility. Approximately 320 great paying positions will be eliminated out of 430 positions at the Frederick location. BP Solar will maintain its U.S. presence in sales and marketing, research and technology, project development, as well as key business support activities."
To that I ask, what about building stuff in the USA? Are we that cost noncompetitive as a country that we can't keep the jobs here vs. China?
"This was a difficult decision and we deeply regret the impact it will have on our employees and the community. We have a long history in Frederick and I am thankful for the support of all our colleagues, the community and local, state and federal officials," said Reyad Fezzani, CEO of BP Solar.
All laid off employees will only get full pay and benefits for three months with a severance package, job placement assistance, and transitional resources.
"Solar prices declined between 40 and 50% since the onset of the financial and economic crisis, compressing industry margins and driving solar power towards grid competitive pricing," Fezzani said. "By shifting our supply to a high quality, low cost supply base to serve both distribution customers and large scale projects, we have strengthened our position as a provider of competitive solar solutions with our offer of the highest lifetime value."
What does this mean? It means the United States lost more manufacturing jobs to China. What about the billions of dollars Obama has been promising to support solar development here? What happened to "Beyond Petroleum"? At a time when BP's public image could hardly be worse, it seems like these solar job cuts are adding insult to injury.
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