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Sharp to stop solar panel production in Memphis, 300 may lose jobs

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Japanese manufacturer Sharp Corp. will stop solar panel production in Tennessee and at a U.K. plant in Wales this year as it restructures its solar business, according to Tokyo-based reporter Chisaki Watanabe of Bloomberg.

A Sharp representative said output at the Memphis plant will stop by the end of March. The plant employs about 450 people, 300 of which are involved in the manufacture of solar panels.

The plant will continue making other electronics such as microwaves.

In 2010 Efficient Energy of Tennessee used panels from the Sharp plant to open the first 1 megawatt solar installation in the region at the solar farm on Andrew Johnson Highway in East Knox County.

Photo: Sharp's southeast Memphis factory, a fixture since 1978, makes electronics and solar panels and employs nearly 500 people. By Mark Weber, Commercial Appeal



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