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San Jose Solar Power Firm Shutting Plant; Oregon Taxpayers On The Hook

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SoloPower's flexible solar panels are lightweight and can be installed quickly on commercial buildings, the company says. (SoloPower)

SoloPower’s flexible solar panels are lightweight and can be installed quickly on commercial buildings, the company says.
(SoloPower)

SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) — A struggling Silicon Valley solar power company will suspend its Portland operations in June and lay off 29 workers, leaving Oregon agencies that provided funding to the company on the hook for millions of dollars.

SoloPower, which announced a restructuring plan in February along with 61 layoffs at its San Jose headquarters, notified Oregon last week of the shut down, just three months after beginning operations.

The notice was released Monday to the public. The company says a significant downturn in business forced a major reorganization.

The Oregonian reports SoloPower has received a $10 million loan and $20 million tax credit from state and local agencies that hoped the company would grow and create jobs.

The report said it was unclear whether Oregon would ever recoup the millions of dollars in incentives.

Instead of making conventional solar panels, SoloPower pioneered thin sheets that could be rolled onto roofs. But the sheets are more expensive than panels.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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