PORTLAND -- A government-backed solar power company says it will suspend its Portland operations in June and lay off 29 workers.

SoloPower notified the state last week and the notice was released Monday to the public. The San Jose, Calif., company says a significant downturn in business forced a major reorganization.

The company announced in 2011 it would open the Portland plant, which would offer 170 jobs and could grow to 500 positions. Officials said the average salary would be about $51,000.

Background: SoloPower announces Portland solar plant

The company received a $197 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project.

Instead of making conventional solar panels, SoloPower pioneered thin sheets that could be rolled onto roofs. But the sheets are more expensive than panels.

More: SoloPower holds open house in North Portland

Read or Share this story: