1973: Karl Boer formed Solar Energy Systems to market PV cells, then transferred the majority of his stock to Shell Oil Co.
1974: Mobil Oil JV'ed with Tyco Labs creating Mobil-Tyco Solar Energy Corp.
1975: Exxon assumed Solar Power Corp. as wholly owned subsidiary.
1977: Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) invested in a PV company in Camarillo, California (CA) - began making solar cells/panels.
1980: ARCO Solar - first company to make more than 1 MW of PV modules in one year.
1980: British Petroleum (BP) entered solar market, buying Lucas Energy Systems.
1982: ARCO Solar completed first MW-scale PV power station in Hisperia, CA.
1983: ARCO Solar dedicated a 6-MW PV substation in CA.
1983: AMOCO Solar Co., subsidiary of American Oil Co. (AMOCO) bought Solarex factory in Frederick, MD.
1986: ARCO Solar built first utility-scale PV generator in Texas & introduced first commercial thin film PV module.
1987: Solarex sued ARCO Solar for patent violations, halting ARCO’s Solar’s PV business.
1993: Solarex sued United Solar, a JV of Energy Conversion Devices and Canon of Japan, for patent infringement practices.
1993: Mobil Oil closed 19-year solar demonstration plant in Billerica, Mass. because “electric utility industry market for solar energy is small and is unlikely to grow to large-scale demand in the near term.”
1995: Solarex changed its name when Enron Corp. of Houston and AMOCO/Solarex JV'ed and merged into Amoco/Enron Solar, with each partner owning 50-percent interest in the PV company.
1998: In the world’s largest industrial merger, AMOCO merged with BP.
1999: BP AMOCO bought Enron’s 50-percent share creating BP Solarex,
2000: BP bought ARCO now known as BP West Coast Products LLC.
BP Solar, now one of the largest solar manufacturing companies in the world will close the Frederick, MD plant & move its business into facilities in China, India and other countries in March 2010.
See any pattern here?