GE Delays Colorado Solar Plant Construction

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 11, 2012

GE Energy of General Electric (NYSE: GE) has announced that it’s indefinitely suspending further development of a 400 megawatt, 400,000 sq. ft. solar manufacturing plant in Aurora, Colorado.

The plant would have been the world’s largest solar plant, and it is part of GE’s $600 million initiative in solar technology.

In 2011, GE had acquired PrimeStar Solar, whose cadmium telluride technology would enabled the construction of thin-film solar panels.

As of now, GE is focusing its energy on outdoing the industry leader in ultra-thin solar technology, First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR).

First Solar’s panels currently have a conversion efficiency of 11.7 percent. GE claims to have reached 14 percent, and is aiming to go over 15 percent.

The proposed plant may resume development in or after 2014.

If and when the facility becomes reality, it will create more than 300 jobs and power nearly 80,000 homes a year.

Solar technology is faltering in a fairly public way. Just recently, Abound Solar filed for bankruptcy.

The persistent theme seems to be the inability of companies with promising solar technologies to compete with the extremely low prices advertised by Chinese manufacturers.

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