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Solar manufacturer Solon bought by UAE firm

Ailing solar module manufacturer Solon Corp., whose U.S. headquarters is in Tucson, has been acquired by a firm in the United Arab Emirates. Solon laid off its local production staff of 60 last year.

UAE-based Microsol, a solar cell producer, bought the multinational Solon for an undisclosed amount, the firm said Tuesday. Solon is part of German-based Solon SE, which has manufacturing facilities in Germany and Italy. The parent company filed for involvency in December as it struggled to restructure its loans.

Microsol said it has about 325 employees in the UAE. Solon has about 600 worldwide, the company said.

When it announced the end of Tucson manufacturing work last year, Solon said it would maintain some 70 sales, engineering and research employees here.

"This is a joining of two ideal partners. As shareholders, we will pursue an international growth strategy together with Solon, which will open up enormous market potential," said Anjan Turlapati, chairman of Microsol, in a press release.

Solon partnered last year with the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power to study storing energy generated by solar at an existing power plant built by the company at the UA's Science and Technology Park.

The company also worked with Arizona Public Service on a 145-acre, 18-megawatt solar plant near Gila Bend.

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Artist's rendering of Solon panels at a 145-acre Arizona Public Service solar plant near Gila Bend.