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AMAT customer Signet Solar abandons New Mexico solar facility

Signet Solar has formally withdrawn from building a US$480 million amorphous silicon solar panel factory in New Mexico, USA, that would have had Applied Materials’ (AMAT) SunFab production line.

Jim Wood, Vice President of Coast Range Investments has said Signet pulled out following a rejection from the US Department of Energy (DoE) to guarantee a loan of US$220m.

Signet Solar has also had trouble competing on the global solar market against companies from China producing similar products for 20% less, according to the Valencia County News Bulletin.

Signet Solar was going to use AMAT’s SunFab production line, which has been quoted by Greentech Media as costing 30% more than competing equipment on the market.

The news hits Applied Materials as Signet Solar was one of the first SunFab customers. Another SunFab customer, SunFilm, filed for bankruptcy this month, Greentech Media reports.

Last month, AMAT indicated it may scale back investments in SunFab.

Signet Solar and Applied Materials have so far not commented on the news.

Share price

The AMAT share price had at 13.15 BST on 8 April, fallen 1.77% to US$13.34 from the previous day.

To follow the AMAT share price, check out our financial content.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets