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SoloPower boss says all not lost

SoloPower’s recently-hired chief executive insists the company still has a chance to survive, despite reports earlier this week that US thin-film manufacturer planned to lay off its production staff and suspend operations – likely for good – from June.

Chief executive Rob Campbell claims the company is still in discussions with potential investors – all of them unnamed.

“Put aside what everybody’s saying,” Campbell told local media. “People want this kind of product. We’ll do our best to fulfill our business plan and move forward.”

Campbell also said that recent estimates putting the price of SoloPower’s modules at $1.80 per watt were “probably a little on the high side”.

That figure is nearly three times what leading crystalline silicon PV manufacturers are selling for. SoloPower’s modules are based on copper, indium, gallium, selenide (CIGS) thin-film technology.

Campbell declined to comment on the status of a $10m loan the company was given by the state of Oregon.

He did, however, confirm that SoloPower has not yet drawn on a $197m federal loan guarantee awarded by the Department of Energy – the same type of loan given to bankrupt CIGS player Solyndra.

SoloPower struggled to meet the development milestones that would have allowed it to tap into the loan guarantee.

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