BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:04 am


http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-29/bp-s-solar-retreat-signals-exodus-of-u-s-renewable-energy-jobs.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


March 29 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc’s decision to halt U.S. output of solar panels may help short-circuit President Barack Obama’s plan to create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said March 26 that it’s stopping manufacturing at its Frederick, Maryland, solar plant and cutting 320 jobs because of high costs and declining panel prices. The announcement came seven weeks after London- based BP said the division that includes solar and wind power was losing almost $183,000 an hour.

Solar companies are ramping up manufacturing in Asia even as they take government incentive funds to hire in the U.S. Suntech Power Holdings Co., which got $2.1 million to assemble panels at a 70-worker plant in Arizona, will employ 11,000 people in China to build components. Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar Inc. plans to do 71 percent of its manufacturing hiring in Malaysia after getting $16.3 million in federal funding to hire 200 people at an Ohio plant.


There ya go Stockingfull, a clear example of bad subsidies. This has no benefit for anyone other than the countries that will be building these solar panels... using cheap energy derived from coal no doubt. It should be noted that the wind turbines are also built overseas, the "jobs" these projects create are temporary assembly jobs.
Richard S.
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:56 am

I'd laugh heartily at that news and say bully for the coal business but I know that BHO will shut down coal as soon as he possibly can.

Subsidies are usually a bad idea.
mikeandgerry
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: bustedwing On: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:33 pm

That BP facility in Frederick Md used to be Solarex,entire roof was covered with panels,if memory serves me correct they supplied much of their own electricity. BP bought them and started a major expansion of the building and totally screwed up the roof panel system,last time I drove by there it was still under construction.
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:35 am

That facility in Frederick is an empty shell and the construction was stopped before it was even completed. The solar panel production was moved overseas by BP.
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:41 pm

To understand why BP closed it's Fredrick, MD facility you have to understand the solar technology. There are two major manufacturing parts to a useful solar panel. The solar cell itself and the assembly of many of them into a panel. The solar cell itself can be manufactured using several different technologies. BP's Solarex used the silicon casting and wafering method. This give the highest efficiency solar cell, but it's also the most expensive. It's the kind of solar cell that would be used on space craft, where you want the best cell efficiency and don't care about cost. Newer solar cell manufacturing methods like Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) are much less costly but also have lower efficiency.

Once you have a solar cell you need to put many of them on a panel to make any useful power. This is a low tech manufacturing process, at least compared to making the cell itself. This part of making a product will alway migrate to low cost labor areas. BP's Fredrick plant was built in the 70's and it did both cell manufacturing and panel assembly. By today's cost demands it could not compete. The newer cell manufacturing methods are also located in lower cost labor parts of the world. The rise of global manufacturing means production will always move to lower cost areas. Global companies could care less about keeping jobs in one particular country. It's just a fact of today's world.
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:00 am

william77 wrote:That’s too bad if they are closing solar panel. Here govt is installing new solar panels to save environment and increase job opportunity.


Where is "here"?
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:25 am

I can give you one "here".

http://blog.floridaenergycenter.org/ech ... allations/

A 10 million dollar government "stimulus package" is paying for 88 Florida schools to have 10K solar systems installed. The article mentions $80,000 each....but... ten million divided by 88 is $113,600.... where does the extra $33,600 go? I hope back to the government as even $80,000 is 2005 prices on a 10K system. Someone is making a HUGE profit. It mentions each system will save $1,500 a year in electrical cost. OK, do the math. That's a 53.3 year payback.... on a 40 yr system? And who replaces the batteries every 8 or 12 years? They say it's a good educational tool for the students to see the panels in action. Wouldn't a better lesson be to show students how not to waste money? I think this whole thing is a colossal waste of our taxpayers dollars. IF they were going to spend $10 million stimulus , why didn't they do it in New Jersey where the power rates make solar sensible? And why not a grid connected system and save the cost and maintenance of batteries?
Freddy
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:58 am

Don't know anything about solar panels or types but it sounds like these are being placed in those schools to also be used a designated as safe shelters during hurricane season which this year seems to be almost anytime.
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:54 am

samhill wrote: it sounds like these are being placed in those schools to also be used a designated as safe shelters


Yes, all of these schools have been and still are designated hurricane shelters. They had emergency generators before these solar arrays and will continue to need generators after the installs are complete.
Freddy
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:05 am

From what I can tell it doesn't even come close to making any economic sense to go with electricity from solar panels. The payback period exceeds the required equipments lifetimes, and it can only be made to work by the giving of massive government incentives, which really means that those benefiting are merely placing burden of the bill for their stupid purchase upon the shoulders of their neighbors (across the nation). Soon the game will be up, as you can only benefit from OPM (other peoples money) for so long.

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. " Margaret Thatcher
lsayre
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:04 pm

It's just any engine or method of producing power, they all start off with inefficiencies & get better as time & experimentation goes on. Or we could just wait until every drop of oil is gone & then look around, ever notice how a lot of these new energy firms are owned by big oil one has to wonder if they really want them to work well while there is so much more profit in oil. They certainly wouldn't want a panel that would last a long time, there's no profit to be had with longevity.
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:21 pm

lsayre wrote:From what I can tell it doesn't even come close to making any economic sense to go with electricity from solar panels.


This thing in Florida doesn't make sense to me, but, the price of solar has come down a BUNCH and depending on where you live it might make sense to have a solar array. Even with no subsidies or rebates a professionally installed system can have a payback of 20 years. The Feds do kick back 30% at this time so the payback drops to less than 15 years. Self install like I did and you're down to less than 12 years. And, that's assuming the price of electricity never goes up!
Freddy
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:39 pm

They are doing the same thing on the cape with grants...
Way overpriced with a payback greater than the projected life of the system...
I can see some value as an educational tool...
but the money could have been better spent elsewhere...
And yes early adopters pay more and provide the money to get new tech into the hands of the masses...
Ijust feel the Govt is getting in too deep with the solar energy thing...
on both ends finance and mfg...
Solyndra comes to mind...
At least there are some solar projects that seem to make sense...
The Towns of Yarmouth and Dennis, MA issued a request for proposal in November of 2010 for a photovoltaic array on town land. The Waterline Companies were awarded the contract based on their ability to satisfy the technical qualifications of the proposal and the capacity of their proposed system design to provide value to the town. This 276 kW roof mounted array was financially structured as a power purchase agreement and designed by Waterline to include 1,200 Canadian Solar 230W panels. The system will generate approximately 300,000 kWh of electricty annually and will save the towns $33,000 of utility expenses in the first year alone.

This project is one of those rare occasions where it’s a victory for everyone involved. The town of Yarmouth is going to save nearly $1,000,000 over the life of the system, without investing a dime.

http://senatordanwolf.com/content/yarmouth-turns-largest-solar-panel-installation-cape-cod
Throw money at somthing that makes sense for powering our transportation...
Biofuels from rapeseed...
Study from 1992...
http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/reportsdatabase/reports/gen/19921031_GEN-239.pdf
CapeCoaler
 
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Re: BP closing new solar plant, others moving overseas

PostBy: samhill On: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:19 pm

Like anything in this country, things start out as good ideas like helping emerging industries & farming then soon the greed factor steps in & a whole new business emerges, the business of subsidies & grants. Almost every big business gets them but the small business for the most part gets left out when it should be the other way around.
http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/11/1 ... hich-ones/
samhill
 
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