Amonix Shutters Nevada Manufacturing Facility: Why It’s Not ‘Another Solyndra’


According to several media reports, concentrating PV system manufacturer Amonix Inc. has shuttered its Nevada production facility and plans to restructure its operations.

Last December, the company's CEO, Brian Robertson, passed away in a plane crash, and a month later, Amonix laid off two-thirds of its employees.

The California-based company was offered a $5.9 million federal tax credit and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007. However, the company never received the $5.9 million tax credit because it did not have enough taxable income.

Although many were quick to jump on the fact that Amonix received federal funding and to associate the company with failed loan-guarantee recipient Solyndra, it is important to note that Amonix did not receive a loan guarantee, and that the federal research and development funding it did receive was awarded by the Bush administration, although some of the funds were dispersed under Obama.

Anticipating that the Amonix news would spark a political debate, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) issued the following statement:

"This should not be a political story, but rather a story of an evolving and competitive industry that is benefiting all of us across the country,’ SEIA said. ‘The solar industry employs 100,000 Americans at 5,600 companies in all 50 states, and last year, the industry more than doubled. Most of those companies are small – the true engines of economic growth and innovation.’

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