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US Solar Companies Continue to Die as Solar Panel Prices keep Plummeting despite Trade Measures against China

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US Solar Panel Industry

The massive global oversupply of solar panels has led to solar panel prices plummeting to new depths. This has Solar Panelsalready led to bankruptcies of numerous solar companies around the world with some of them being erstwhile global leaders. The carnage has not stopped as even small solar companies serving niche markets like Minnesota solar panel, company Silicon Industries has started shutting down and missing loan payments. What is surprising is that the company opened just a year ago and had a small base with just 15 employees. A bigger New Jersey company Solar Power Industries too will be auctioning its equipments as the company fails to keep pace with the global solar industry. The 200 employee company opened shop in New Jersey in a former Sony manufacturing site. However like its bigger brothers like Solyndra, SPI has also decided to throw in the towel in the face of cutthroat competition from Chinese solar companies.

Note the anti dumping duty imposed on solar panels made in China has not helped the solar manufacturing industry in the US as Chinese solar panel companies have kept on relentlessly cutting costs and prices. The prices of the solar panel are currently at or below costs for even the lowest cost solar panel producers which means that the lower and niche players without a solid differentiation have no chance at survival.

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Kim Leonard The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The assets of a solar panel manufacturer that employed more than 200 workers in Westmoreland County a few years ago will be auctioned off starting Sept. 18.

Solar Power Industries Inc. has said it fell victim to competition from Chinese companies that could make cheaper silicon wafers and solar cells used to generate electricity, and to a drop in demand for its products.

The Rostraver-based company manufactured wafers and cells in plants there, and in part of the former Sony Corp. plant in East Huntingdon.


A year-old solar panel manufacturer in northern Minnesota, citing slower-than-expected sales, has missed its first two payments on a $1.5 million loan from an Iron Range development agency and is seeking additional forbearance on the debt, executives and state officials said Tuesday.

Silicon Energy, which opened a plant in Mountain Iron in August 2011, also has cut its workforce from 15 to 11, laying off three workers and not replacing one who left.

“We were slow getting to market,” said John Carroll, vice president of Newport Partners, the Irvine, Calif.-based parent of Silicon Energy. “We were not able to capture as much business as we expected in the Twin Cities.”


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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