Virus crisis forces SunPower to idle factories, cut working hours
SunPower panels at Toyota Motor North America HQ in Texas. Source: SunPower (www.us.sunpower.com).
US solar panel maker SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) has temporarily ceased production at its factories in five countries and cut working hours and payroll to address the drop in demand in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has idled its manufacturing facilities in France, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and the US, expecting the sites to be back online “in the coming weeks.” The move is part of a series of proactive measures aimed at restricting the financial and operational impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on its business. Their goal is to position the company “well” for a period when the solar industry revives.
Apart from the production halt, SunPower is also cutting the remuneration of some of its executive officers for the second time since March 25, with effect from April 20, 2020. Additionally, it is reducing some of its employees to a four-day workweek, which will be “subject to periodic reassessment.” The only exceptions are customer support and asset services positions.
SunPower, which is majority-owned by French oil and gas giant Total SA (EPA:FP), added it is on track to complete the spin-off of its international photovoltaic (PV) cell and panel manufacturing operations into a new company by the end of the second quarter. The new entity will be dubbed Maxeon Solar Technologies and will be based in Singapore.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.