Another Solar Company Falls

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 20, 2012

The bad news for the solar sector keeps coming. A 214,000 square foot solar facility owned by Amonix in Las Vegas, Nevada, which received $21 million in federal subsidies, has shut down just a year after it opened.

When it first opened, the facility was touted as a job creator anticipating almost 300 jobs, and it received $15.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the rest in federal tax credits.

But everything began to fall apart in December when the CEO Brian Robertson died in a plane crash. Even more problems cropped up in May, when several employees were dismissed and rumors of quality control issues began making the rounds.

Barely a month after Robertson’s death, Amonix laid off almost 200 people. It never recovered.

To add to its woes, since Amonix has not earned any taxable income yet, it can’t even take advantage of the nearly $6 million in tax credits it was to receive.

Amonix is based in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and, while it was functional, provided equipment to a 30-megawatt plant in Colorado. The company made concentrating photovoltaic systems on a utility scale.

The problem with CPVs is that they’re limited in functionality to high irradiance areas, which in the U.S. means the Southwest.

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