SolarWorld USA on Friday announced it will shut down its Camarillo solar panel production line this month and move the work to a newer and larger manufacturing facility in Oregon.
The decision results in the loss of 186 positions in Ventura County, although a company spokesman said some employees would have the opportunity to transfer to Oregon.
“Everything we do is about increasing economies of scale, efficiency and lowering per unit costs,” said SolarWorld USA spokesman Ben Santarris. “We are consolidating the two sites to maximize economies of scale.”
The Camarillo facility currently employs 300 workers. Sales and marketing operations will continue to operate out of the Camarillo site, Santarris said, noting the company has added to its sales and marketing staff in Camarillo over the past year.
The production line will close on Sept. 30, and laid-off employees will be paid through Oct. 28 before a severance package begins, Santarris said.
Workers at the Camarillo facility do the final assembly on photovoltaic cells. That facility, however, is smaller than the factory in Hillsboro, Ore. that opened in 2009.
SolarWorld USA, owned by a German company, purchased the Camarillo factory in 2006. Solar panels manufacturing has taken place there since the 1970s under previous owners, including Shell and Siemens.