BP closing Maryland solar manufacturing plant

BP Solar will close its solar-panel manufacturing plant in Frederick, the final step in moving its solar business out of the United States to facilities in China, India and other countries.

Just 3 1/2 years ago, in an announcement widely hailed by Maryland officials and promoters of "green jobs," BP Solar unveiled a $70 million plan to double output at the facility and erected a building to house the production lines.

But on Friday the company said it would lay off 320 workers and keep only a hundred people involved in research, sales and project development. BP Solar said laid-off employees would receive full pay and benefits for three months, followed by severance packages and job-placement assistance. The company, unable to sell or lease the building, will tear it down.

Read the full story on the Washington Post. Saturday, March 27, 2010.