The company is for sale.
Photovoltaic Signs of the Times?
Solar start-up Blue Square Energy (BSE) had a layoff before the holidays to close 2008, a year marked by internal struggles at the company captured in Blue Square Energy: Solar plans stalled at funding round. BSE has sold assets and equipment from an out of service solar cell line as a second cash preservation step. Discussions are reported to be underway with interested buyers.
It would appear Blue Square Energy: Joseph Babin named new CEO and President may have happened too late to raise a $25 million funding round for the company. Or per Blue Square Energy: Interview with solar CEO Joseph Babin, was the lack of Barnett regime change on the BSE Board of Directors the root cause of the funding travails? Even though “Cleantech Venture Investment in ‘08 Breaks Record, Despite Weak Finish” by Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech resulted in record level solar venture investment.
For reference, here is a Blue Square Energy international patent application published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
(WO/2007/040774) PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR CELL AND METHOD OF MAKING THE SAME
I am trying to reconcile the facts about the situation as they trickle in from multiple sources. Please see the label Blue Square Energy for prior Blog posts about the company.
Other photovoltaic (PV) start-ups and small caps have been impacted by the credit crunch and soft photovoltaic module market of recent months.
“Solar-cell maker halts construction plans for new plant in Hillsboro”, by Richard Read for The Oregonian said:
SpectraWatt Inc., an Intel spinoff that planned to make solar cells in Hillsboro, may leave Oregon because it can’t find financing to build a plant.
This answers questions raised by Tom Cheyney at PV-tech.org in his the Chip Shots blog post, “Intel turns on a solar system, but it’s just the start, and what’s going on with SpectraWatt anyway?”
Per “Solarfirma CSG Solar stellt Produktion ein” at Handelsblatt.com, CSG Solar halted production and laid off 124 of their 164 employees on December 23, 2008, due to declining PV module demand.
In response to the market situation, Day4 Energy accelerated a change in their business model with “Day4® Energy Completes Outsource Agreement with Jabil” before Christmas culminating with “Day4® Energy Announces Reduction in Workforce” on January 6, 2009 (Ed. Note: Wrong year error corrected per comment). Module production will be relocated to a Jabil facility in Poland closer to principal market demand in Europe denominated in Euros. Day4 Energy President George Rubin said:
We expect to have the equipment installed at the Jabil facility in Q1 and to be operating at full capacity as we enter the second half of 2009.
Layoffs are always tough decisions, but the timing around the end of year Holiday Season is a no win scenario. Is it better to let employees know before the holiday or after?