Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Happened to the REC Mega Solar-Grade Silicon Plant Announced for Quebec?

Obama credibility not the only casualty of solar power outage

Three years ago, "REC Silicon, a division of the Norwegian multinational group Renewable Energy Corporation, has announced its intention to invest more than $1.2 billion to build a manufacturing plant in B├ęcancour," Quebec, northeast of Montreal.

The Quebec government and REC made a lot of hay over this, emphasizing how the company had done an exhaustive analysis before deciding to set up shop here.

As this was supposed to be up and running in 2012, to all appearances things have been rather quiet on the REC front.

A quick search turns up a couple of articles in French, one from Radio Canada a year ago and another from this January in Le Courrier Sud, a newspaper in the B├ęcancour area, both of which indicating that the project is presumed shelved or ditched altogether.

Interesting that no cancellation announcement appears on the REC website, nor anywhere that I can find, at least in English.

Looks like this became another casualty of the problems that seem to have plagued the solar industry since the onset of the recession. Sept '08 certainly not the most opportune time to have made a major announcement in solar energy.

Interesting also to consider this situation in the context of the embarrassing time that Barack Obama has been having with the whole Solyndra solar debacle, bankruptcy, FBI investigation etc. One thing it seems to show is that market conditions could hardly have been worse for anyone trying to implement this type of project.

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