Solar shakeout continues: two more companies fold

The consolidation within the solar industry is still underway, which means dozens of startups likely won't survive. Thin-film solar company Global Solar Energy is one of the latest to meet its demise.

The consolidation within the solar industry is still underway, which has meant dozens of startups have met an earlier-than-expected end. The two latest victims are Ampulse and Global Solar Energy.

Global Solar Energy, a Tucson, Ariz.-based manufacturer of thin-film solar products has laid off about 95 employees and halted operations, reported Inside Tucson Business.

Global Solar was founded in 1996 by UniSource Energy and ITN Energy Systems, a subsidiary to Tucson Electric Power. Solon AG purchased UniSource's stake in the company for $16 million more than six years ago.

Global Solar, which had factories in Tucson and Germany, developed thin-film solar panels using copper, indium, gallium and selenium (also knowns as CIGS) to convert sunlight into electricity. For the past several years, the company has concentrated its energies into making flexible solar panels and working with Dow Chemical to develop a roofing shingle made with CIGS cells.

Ampulse, a much smaller, and newer operation based in Golden, Colo., also is closing, Greentech Media reported.

The companies employed very different technologies and Ampulse's demise appears to be largely due to slow progress on its tech, according to Greentech Media. However, neither company's cause was improved by the rapid fall in prices of crystalline silicon solar panels from China, which has created an imbalance of supply and demand.

Photo: Global Solar Energy

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