American Solar Energy Society comments on Abound Solar bankruptcy

For immediate release

BOULDER, Colo., July 2, 2012 — “We’re saddened that Abound Solar was undercapitalized to compete in a fast-maturing market,” said Susan Greene, president of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). “Every industry goes through a similar period of consolidation as it achieves economies of scale. We applaud Abound for the way it helped move cadmium-telluride toward broader adoption as the low-cost solution for utility-scale photovoltaics.”

“While solar installations in North America doubled and redoubled during Abound’s launch period, the plunge in solar module prices, led by very large factories in China, forced a number of American and European start-ups to slash prices before achieving full-scale production. Abound is, unfortunately, among them.

“We’re encouraged that General Electric has chosen to build its Primestar Solar factory in Colorado, and confident that Abound’s valuable intellectual property and production equipment will find a home within the cadmium-telluride segment of the thin-film PV industry.

“Every market study published this year predicts another doubling of solar installations, leading to long-term growth of about 40 percent per year over the next decade. Abound was a vigorous chapter in the early history of a thriving global industry.”

Abound was founded on technology developed at Colorado State University, and scaled up with technical assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Nation Science Foundation. The goal was to ramp up to 200 MW of annual production, at a manufactured cost below 50 cents per watt, competing with First Solar and Primestar (now owned by General Electric).

Beginning in 2007, Abound’s business plan attracted $300 million in private investment capital and $68 million underwritten with a $400 U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee. Production began in 2008 in Longmont, Colo., and a second factory was scheduled to open in Tipton, Ind.

 

About the American Solar Energy Society (ases.org)

ASES, founded in 1954, promotes renewable energy in North America. It produces the National Solar Conference (this year in Baltimore, in April, 2013), conducts the National Solar Tour (Oct. 6, 2012) ,and publishes SOLAR TODAY magazine and Solar@Work.

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