Despite massive cuts, OptiSolar’s Sarnia project spared pain

You may have heard that Hayward, Calif.-based OptiSolar announced last week cuts to 290 staff, nearly half its workforce. It’s just the latest round of job shedding in the solar and wind industries over the past few weeks. What I’m surprised to hear is that OptiSolar had more than 600 employees — that’s incredibly fast growth for a company that until a year ago was operating in stealth mode. This seems to be a common theme with these industry cuts: companies that invested in rapid expansion just a few months ago are forced to take an abrupt step backward.

Peter Carrie, who heads up OptiSolar’s Canadian solar development operations, said the 18 or so employees in Canada haven’t been affected by the cuts and the projects planned for Sarnia and Petrolia are still going ahead as planned, though possibly a little slower. OptiSolar has more than 200 megawatts worth of projects on the go in Ontario, each broken up into 10-megawatt chunks according to the rules of the province’s standard offer program. So far about 1 megawatt has been installed using solar PV modules from the company’s Hayward manufacturing facility. Part of the job cuts — 105 — have to do with OptiSolar’s ambitious plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Sacramento that, at full capacity, would have been capable of churning out 2,000 solar panels a day. That facility was to employ about 1,000 people but the company has decided to suspend, for now, the high-volume manufacturing plant.

For background on OptiSolar, check out this previous post.

7 thoughts on “Despite massive cuts, OptiSolar’s Sarnia project spared pain”

  1. Pingback: Whither OptiSolar?
  2. The project in Sarnia is shutdown and the property locked and frozen. Concrete barriers block access to the property. The contract with the local contractors has been cancelled and rumour has it there is a substantial amount of money owing to those parties.

    There were two inverters put online in December. I am not sure if they are still switched on due to the lack of personnel on site.

    Seems the weather, environmentally and fiscally, has taken another victim.

  3. It’s all gone! every last solar panel. I left town for a month and the field is cleaned off! It was a good investment! Energy has doubled in England in a sort while. Bean counters can not make common sence choices. Where can I get a solar panell on yard sale price

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