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Fremont Solar Company Shelves Factory Plans, Layoffs Instead

FREMONT (KCBS) -- A highly-touted Fremont solar company has scrapped its expansion plans.

Instead, Solyndra will be laying off 150 workers.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

The expansion plans were touted by President Barack Obama when he visited the company in May.

"When it's completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world," President Obama said.

So what went wrong? Shyam Mehta, a senior analyst with Greentech Media Research said the struggling economy played a huge role.

"Since the first quarter of 2009, enterprises have taken a huge hit. They've dropped by almost 50 percent in the span of five or six months," Mehta said. "And that's the same time that Solyndra started manufacturing these panels in earnest. They were concerned about these huge price declines, which put a lot of pressure on them to lower costs."

Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, is projecting strong sales next year.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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