BP Solar Throws In The Towel On Building Its Own Modules

BP Solar, which is a subsidiary of the oil company BP, says its recent closings of solar plants in the US and Spain are part of a larger plan to get away from manufacturing solar modules.

Instead the company plans on purchasing modules from other companies that make them for less money, and then set up projects with large utilities to build solar plants. He didn’t say who he’d likely purchase panels from.

WSJ: The decision last month to close a manufacturing facility outside Madrid and partially close another near Baltimore was “designed to get us out of manufacturing that is not competitive,” says Rayed Fezzani, chief executive of BP Solar. He said BP would contract with companies to supply the material, which would still carry BP’s warranty and brand name. More than 600 BP workers were laid off in the plant closings.

The move, says Mr. Fezzani, was about “the economics of getting solar as cheap as possible.” He says he is optimistic that by 2015, solar power won’t require any government support in “a big chunk of the United States” because falling costs will make it competitive with conventional electricity sources.  

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