Yet, another Stimulus recipient seeing business collapse
A Colorado solar manufacturer has temporarily laid off almost 300 employees and delayed an expansion to Tipton County
Abound Solar Inc. laid off 180 permanent and 100 temporary employees at its facility in Longmont, Colo.
The company, which has about 125 employees left, has stopped production of solar panel modules so it can upgrade equipment and manufacturing processes for a more efficient module that should sell better, Abound CEO Craig Witsoe said.
The production change-up should take between six and nine months. The company expects to recall its laid-off workers after that, Witsoe said.
Plans to expand to Tipton County, meanwhile, have moved back by about a year.
Abound in December 2010 secured a $400 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The loan contract requires Abound to first spend the money installing two production lines at the Longmont plant. The company has drawn $70 million from its loan and installed one line so far, bringing the total to two lines.
After installing a third line, the remainder of the loan will fund expansion into a sprawling, empty factory at the corner of U.S. 31 and Ind. 28 in Tipton County.
Abound has projected between 800 and 1,200 new jobs at the Tipton plant. . . .