Xunlight solar panel corp shuts its doors - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Xunlight solar panel corp shuts its doors

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TOLEDO, Ohio - Employees are looking for a pay check after a Toledo solar panel company shuts down.  The Xunlight Corporation has closed its doors with no guarantee it will ever reopen.

The plant opened nearly 8 years ago, as part of Toledo's solar panel boom.  It's located on Nebraska Avenue in West Toledo.  Now it's shut down.

There's not a lot of information about the closure known at this time.  13abc talked with company president John Buckey Wednesday.  He's not giving a lot of details.  We are learning a little more from a letter obtained by the 13abc I-Team.  It was written to all employees last week.

It’s written by Buckey and says in part "unfortunately payments that were committed to be paid to Xunlight contractually have not been sent as agreed and the company does not have the funds necessary to meet its current obligations."

Which includes payroll.  The letter also says there are no prospects to obtaining additional funding.  Buckey tells me the hope is to reopen the plant but he would not commit to a time table.  It’s a plant that's even seen high profile politicians tour it, like Governor Ted Strickland and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

This closure means about 40 people have been laid off.  Some are still owed a check.  13abc heard from several of those employees today who need that pay.  Buckey says the company is working to resolve the payroll issue but would not say for sure that they would be paid.  A big surprise to an employee who spoke to 13abc but did not want to be identified.

"Good work environment, friendly, everybody got along.  At times it was fast paced, working 6 days a week, working 10 hour days.  Making good money.  Now nothing." 

Buckey also says in the letter, "I believe that the products we offer can improve the lives of millions of people and we all made every effort to make that happen." 

There are some other issues here.  The Port Authority and the University of Toledo have loaned money to Xunlight.  The port's chief financial officer tells 13abc that about two-thirds of that loan is secured.  A UT spokesperson tells 13abc they remain hopeful they will get the money back.

Xunlight isn't the only solar company in our area that's shut down in recent years.  Just about this time last year Willard and Kelsey in Perrysburg closed.



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