US Solar Panel Maker to Cut 1,600 Jobs, Halt Plant in Ohio

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – The biggest U.S. manufacturer of solar panels is cutting a quarter of its jobs worldwide and will halt production at its only North American plant in Ohio.

First Solar Inc. says it’s facing challenging market conditions and needs to retool operations to begin making a more efficient solar panel.

The company based in Tempe, Arizona, will cut 1,600 jobs worldwide.

Details about the restructuring plan haven’t been released, but the company says it will stop production at its plant near Toledo that employs about 1,400 workers.

The Blade in Toledo reports the shut down is expected to last more than a year.

First Solar Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar says the Ohio plant has higher production costs. But he says Ohio will continue to be their innovation center.