Sun tan city to lose hundreds of jobs as solar industry shuts down
Sun tan, the capital of western NSW, has been hit by a massive solar panel factory closure.
The Sun Sun Group, based in the north-west of the state, announced on Monday that it had closed its factory in Sun’s Park, where workers are paid $5.50 an hour.
Sun has been in the news recently over its controversial solar farms in the state’s north-east, including the planned project in the town of Cootamundra.
Workers have been told to vacate the premises and the closure has been postponed until June.
It is unclear how many jobs will be lost, with the company claiming to have lost over 400 jobs in the last two years.
Industry group SunPower said the closure would cost it $1.2 million in lost revenue, with many of those lost jobs in engineering, electrical, machinery and transport.
Sun was founded in 2005 and employs around 200 people.
“We are incredibly disappointed that this decision will affect our entire business and our employees, as well as our clients,” Sun’s president, Paul Boulton, said in a statement.
Mr Boulson said that Sun would seek to resolve the situation “as soon as possible”.
SunPower chief executive, Scott McQuade, has repeatedly said he was confident the plant would be able to continue operating.
However, he admitted that the company had not been able to make progress with the plant’s owners, which he said were seeking to return the property to private ownership.
Boulton said the decision would also have a “devastating” effect on local businesses, which rely on the plant for electricity generation.
A number of other large solar projects are being planned in the area, including two projects in Mount Gambier, which would have an output of between 600 megawatts and 1,000 megawatts, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.