One of the first green energy companies to set up in Windsor and herald a new industrial sector has closed its doors.After recently laying off 40 of its workers at its manufacturing plant on St. Etienne Boulevard, Siliken Canada laid off its final 53 employees Friday.
At its peak a year ago, the company was producing 1,200 solar panel modules a week with about 120 workers on three shifts.

Siliken general manager Paco Caudet did not return messages seeking comment Friday.
Mayor Eddie Francis said he was disappointed that Siliken couldn’t sustain itself.
“It’s unfortunate that employees, all of whom came from other sectors, will have to go through it again and transition to other employment,” Francis said.
Friday, doors to the plant were locked and the only vehicles in the parking lot belonged to employees of an adjacent plant on St. Etienne.
But as recently as Thursday, Caudet told The Star’s Grace Macaluso that reports and rumours about the company’s imminent closure were untrue.
“Unfortunately, Siliken couldn’t make a go of it. They couldn’t compete,” Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told reporters Friday.
The Liberal MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh said renewable energy is “still a healthy and growing sector overall.” He said there will be ups and downs as Ontario’s economic recovery continues its slow pace.
“We’re going to have setbacks like Siliken today,” Duncan said.
Siliken’s problem “was they didn’t have a market for their product,” he said.
Conservative energy critic Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing, blamed the provincial government for the closure, saying “(Premier) Dalton McGuinty gave false hope to the renewable industry, especially those in the solar sector, with overly rich feed-in tariff subsidies.
“As soon as that unsustainable subsidy was reduced, sales fell and jobs disappeared,” Fedeli said. “This proves our point that these so-called green jobs are only temporary.”
Last week, after announcing 40 layoffs which left 53 people working in the plant until Friday’s closure, Caudet blamed the Ontario Power Authority and provincial Ministry of Energy for not approving solar projects in a timely manner.
“We’re waiting 16-18 months for approvals and it’s frustrating,” Caudet said.
“It’s a great workforce here and if we had orders we’d be in good shape.
“But right now, with all the delays, nobody’s getting orders.”
A spokesman for the OPA defended its approval processes last week, saying that 2,000 feed-in tariff contracts had been signed and that a further 12,000 microFIT projects were connected to the power grid and were generating clean energy.
“Following the recently completed two-year review of the FIT program, the province has committed to further streamlining the approvals process for FIT projects to ensure that projects are not delayed,” said the OPA in an email.
Siliken invested $7 million of its own money in the plant on St. Etienne and received no government grants or financing.
In March, Windtronics, a manufacturer of small wind turbines, which received $2.7 million in provincial government funding, closed its doors on the city’s far west side.


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