Sunpower Corp., a US photovoltaic module manufacturer, decided to close its module plant in Hillsboro, Oregon. This plant was acquired by the company in October 2018 from Solarworld Americas, the US branch of the bankrupt German panel manufacturer SolarWorld.
Sunpower began producing its P-series modules at the plant in February 2019, but at the end of that year decided to transform from a photovoltaic manufacturer to a supplier of rooftop photovoltaic arrays and energy storage systems. As part of the plan, Sunpower outsourced its production to Maxeon Solar Technologies, which now operates as an independent company.
The shutdown plan of the Hillsboro plant is expected to be gradually implemented from March to June. According to a statement from the company, Sunpower expects that the 170 employees at the factory who are mainly engaged in production will leave in the next three to six months. Assuming that the cost of restructuring is between US$10 million and US$12 million, there may be severance payments of up to 5 million euros, and the rest is used to terminate the real estate lease contract, close the factory, and other related expenses. These expenses are planned to be paid in cash, and will mainly be included in the company’s accounts for the first and second quarters of this fiscal year.
Sunpower hopes to complete the restructuring in the third quarter, but there is still room for change. Just one day after announcing the planned reorganization, Sunpower said it is still studying other options and does not rule out the possibility of selling factories through joint ventures or other potential partnerships to continue operations.