LG Announces its Exit from Global Solar Module Business, to Shut the Alabama Unit
The company will focus on growth sectors like energy storage systems and home energy management
South Korean tech giant LG Electronics has announced that it would exit its global solar panel business, a decision backed by its board of directors, following a comprehensive review of the impact of increasing material and logistics costs and severe supply constraints on the solar business.
The company will wind up solar panel production this spring. However, it will continue to support its U.S. solar consumers for years to come. It will also honor its limited warranty with each product sold.
The company plans to concentrate on growth sectors and plug into the new era of sustainability through solutions including energy storage systems and home energy management. These solutions will complement its broad array of energy-efficient product offerings like heat pump dryers, water heaters, advanced heating, ventilator, and air-conditioning solutions (HVAC).
The decision will impact about 160 employees and around 60 contract workers at LG’s solar manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama, where it has assembled solar panels since 2018. Panel production there is expected to continue into the second quarter.
However, the decision will not affect the company’s other extensive operations in Huntsville, which is its U.S. consumer service headquarters with over 500 local positions working for or supporting operations.
Thomas Yoon, President and Chief Executive Officer at LG Electronics North America, said, “We hope we can retain many of our dedicated employees. The company is meeting U.S. 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.”
The Biden administration recently extended the Section 201 solar tariffs imposed on the import of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) modules for four more years, with several modifications. The extension of tariffs and the modifications aimed to boost the domestic production of modules and reduce dependency on imports over time.
In February last year, Panasonic Corporation had announced that it would wind up the production of solar products at its facilities in Malaysia and Japan.
Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.