While we’re a little slow in getting to this story, it’s important in several ways. Abound Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels in Northern Colorado announced on their website earlier this year that they have ceased operations.
Abound Solar’s production of thin-film photovoltaic arrays was one of our earliest stories here on 2nd Green Revolution. According to the announcement, Abound stopped production “of its first generation PV module and has been working to scale up manufacturing for its high-efficiency, second generation PV module, which was tested and verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to deliver 85 watts per panel and 12.5 percent efficiency.”
In the statement, the company mentioned attempts to sell, but no agreement could be reached. The Denver Business Journal reported that Abound’s equipment was auctioned off over the past two months.
Originating as a research project in nearby Fort Collins, Examiner.com reported back in 2009 that the company “was born in the bowels of Colorado State University – the result of real scientific research based on the belief that to be truly successful, solar technology would have to be based on a low cost, high throughput production process.”
Due to large government funding from the Department of Energy (DOE), Abound may well find itself relegated to the annals of failed solar companies with large grants like Solyndra. However, Abound, used less than 20% of the $400 million DOE loan.
Competition from China was cited as a major reason for the company’s failure, although they, like Solyndra, use a fundamentally different technology than the silicon based photovoltaic cells in most Chinese solar panels.