Siliken Renewable Energy, a Spanish-based company making solar panels in Otay Mesa, relocated its manufacturing operation to Tijuana recently, resulting in the loss of about 100 jobs.

The company said lower labor costs in Mexico caused the move south.

George Molina, director of plant operations, said the new plant now has about 160 employees but plans to expand to about 250 workers. The company’s management and training staff were retained, while the 100 line workers in Otay, most of whom were contracted employees, were provided job search assistance.

Siliken, which started its operations in Otay last year among much fanfare about new jobs created by the alternative energy industries, retains a distribution center in Otay with about a dozen employees, and a headquarters office in Carlsbad with another 15 people, Molina said.

Jason Anderson, vice president of CleanTech San Diego, a local nonprofit advocacy group for companies in the green industry space, said while the departure of the jobs to Mexico is disappointing, the group prefers that the jobs went to Mexico instead of China.

— Mike Allen