Here's the last installment of greentech job movement in 2011, with this chapter devoted entirely to the solar industry:
Hoku Corporation's CFO, Darryl Nakamoto, resigned.
Hoku (Nasdaq:HOKU), in a case of questionable timing, is opening up a long-threatened polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku is a subsidiary of Tianwei New Energy Holdings, which is an affiliate of China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC). CSGC is a mammoth firm with 191,000 employees. Tianwei manufactures polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules. Hoku manufactures, well, nothing. Hoku started out as a fuel cell company, went public in 2005, and pivoted into being a solar manufacturer with $2 million in "service and license revenue" in 2011 according to its most recent 10-K filing. The document reveals that the firm had "cash and cash equivalents on hand of $3.2 million and current liabilities of $241.8 million" as of Sept. 30, 2011. The firm's stock trades at $0.57 with a market cap of $31.3 million. All of those figures seem to provide good reason for a CFO to resign.
The utility supplying power to the Hoku polysilicon plant being constructed in Pocatello, Idaho Power, has threatened to shut off power by next week if Hoku doesn't pay its November electric bill, according to the AP.
SolarCity, SunRun, Sungevity, SunEdison, Clean Power Finance and other solar installers will hire more than 1,000 people in 2012, according to an article from Lindsay Riddell, reporter at San Francisco Business Times.
In a recently issued statement, Suntech announced: "Suntech has reduced its workforce over the last few months amidst challenging market conditions for PV manufacturers and as part of an ongoing global restructuring. In an effort to optimize our operations and continue focusing on production efficiency, we are working to decrease our 2012 operating expenses by 20 percent compared to this year."
Newly appointed Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) CEO Anthony Earley dismissed the utility's entire corporate strategy and development group. A Bloomberg article quoted the CEO as saying that the company "will no longer be making tax-equity investments in solar projects." The utility had invested more than $100 million into solar installers and financiers SolarCity and SunRun.
David Edwards, formerly Director of Strategy and Corporate Development of SunPower, has left to helm solar startup Koru as CEO. Koru provides a SaaS platform for the retail electricity industry, according to Edwards' LinkedIn profile. More details on that company in the new year.