Seoul-headquartered LG Electronics Inc. is pulling out of the global solar panel business. The decision was approved yesterday by the LG board of directors in South Korea.
Competition with Chinese rivals’ lower prices has made it hard for LG to compete.
John I. Taylor, senior vice president of LG Electronics USA Inc., explained the reason to Electrek via email:
The decision was based on factors like increasing material costs, increasing logistics costs, and supply chain constraints.
This announcement looks ahead as LG concentrates on other high-value products and services like energy storage systems and energy management solutions. These technologies complement LG’s energy-efficient product offerings, from heat pump dryers and water heaters to advanced HVAC solutions to industry-leading Energy Star certified home appliances to name a few.
We look forward to discussing those groundbreaking developments with you soon.
Panel production will wind down this spring, and LG says it will continue to support its US solar customers by honoring all limited warranties.
The decision to shut down solar manufacturing will impact around 160 employees and 60 contract workers at LG’s corporate campus in Huntsville, Alabama. The company has been assembling solar panels there since 2018.
Thomas Yoon, president and CEO, LG Electronics North America, said in a statement:
We hope we can retain many of our talented and dedicated employees.
The company is meeting with US solar panel workers to identify potential opportunities within other LG business and manufacturing units. Employees who will not be continuing with LG will be offered transition support and severance packages commensurate with their tenure with the company.
If you own LG solar panels, you can access additional information here, or you can call LG’s customer support center at 1-833-388-2121.
This announcement is a real shame, as LG Solar panels were ranked by independent comparison website SolarReviews in November as the No. 1 solar panel brand. LG mostly manufactured solar panels for the residential and small commercial markets.
It’s also a worry at a time when the Biden administration is trying to ramp up domestic clean energy manufacturing and jobs.
We hope LG takes good care of both its workers in Huntsville who are losing their jobs and its customers who already own LG solar panels. We’re also eager to see the company deliver on its declared intent to focus on energy storage and management.
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