Fishkill Solar Plant to Close in Spring

SpectraWatt, makers of crystalline silicon solar cells, announced in late December that it would shut down it’s Fishkill plant, a former IBM facility, in March 2011, less than one year after opening. This was followed by the news that Evergreen Solar in Devens, Mass, is laying off 800 workers and moving to China. This week Precision Flow Technologies, which, among other products, produces silicon carbide semiconductor-grade material for the military, announced it would lay off 50 workers at its Saugherties solar facility. Is the sun already setting on solar manufacturing jobs in the Hudson Valley?

If not, there are certainly dark clouds moving in quickly–in November, the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation gave SpectraWatt, a spin-off of chip maker Intel, its Business Excellence Award in Manufacturing. In a New York Times essay about the Evergreen Solar closing in Massachusetts, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser says the U.S will never compete with China in manufacturing. THVG will continue to cover this story as it develops in our region.

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