GreenVolts halts operations

13. September 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Californian CPV company, GreenVolts has suspended operations, following "a sudden, and unexpected, change in direction from a major strategic investor," the company said in a statement issued earlier this week. The startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area appears to be pointing to a recent investment and distribution deal that had been struck with power infrastructure giant ABB.

A GreenVolts array.

Only weeks after talking up the ABB deal, GreenVolts has had to close its doors after the deal fell through.

Consolidation continues to be a regular feature of the photovoltaic industry of late, with the latest victim of intense price competition being the U.S. CPV producer GreenVolts. The company’s announcement that it will immediately, "suspend marketing, sales, and manufacturing operations," comes as a shock as the firm only weeks ago was talking up its prospects, on the back of a strategic investment, sales and support deal done with European power and automation giant ABB.

Earlier this year, ABB announced a US$20 million strategic investment deal with GreenVolts and in July unveiled the GreenVolts system, rebadged as an ABB product, as a complete "sun to grid" integrated photovoltaic system. However it appears that the funding deal behind it has soured, with GreenVolts this week blaming a withdrawal of funding as being "last minute" and, "so servere that GreenVolts cannot normal operation."

The statement continues that GreenVolts will maintain a small team to provide customer support and to look for potential buyers of the technology and IP.

GreenVolts is not the only U.S. CPV firm that is shuttering operations with Amonix having closing its Nevada factory earlier this year.

In a statement issued to pv magazine, ABB wrote that while it made the "tough call" to discontinue funding to GreenVolts, in the face of challenging photovoltaic market conditions. ABB continues that the decision will only impact ABB's CPV offerings and not its other solar-related products. 

ABB's Antonio Ligi wrote: "This decision shows that we are a disciplined investor and are willing to make tough calls as required. This decision reflects our concern around the uncertainty in the PV market and the lack of transparency on when it will stabilize. The order of magnitude of the decline took everyone by surprise. If you compare the forecasts of analysts a year ago with current ones, you will see that the projections for 2015 have dropped by 40 percent."

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