Solyndra third solar company to file for Chapter 11 relief

01. September 2011 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

Solyndra LLC has announced its intention to file for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code following the immediate suspension of its manufacturing operations and lay off of around 1,100 employees.

Solyndra HQ building in Fremont, California

Solyndra's decision to lay off staff and shut down photovoltaic production is effective immediately. Image: Solyndra.

The news, announced yesterday afternoon, comes just weeks after SpectraWatt and Evergreen Solar both filed for bankruptcy.

Solyndra cited the recent unstable market conditions and competition from "larger foreign" manufacturers as the primary reasons for its decision. It says it will now evaluate its options, which include selling the business and licensing both its CIGS technology and manufacturing expertise.

In a statement issued, it explained, "Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers.

"This competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that finance solar systems."

Solyndra’s president and CEO, Brian Harrison added, "Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion. Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate."

He went on to say that, "We are incredibly proud of our employees, and we would like to thank our investors, channel partners, customers and suppliers, for the years of support that allowed us to bring our innovative technology to market."

Warning bells

In response, IMS Research said that that the news should serve a "warning to all other PV module start-ups".

The Californian company began manufacturing cylindrical solar systems for commercial rooftops back in 2008 in Fremont. Just a year later, it announced it was the first company to receive an offer for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for over half a billion U.S. dollars. Then, however, in 2010, it had to close its first fab and shed jobs.

IMS’ Senior Research Analyst, Sam Wilkinson commented, "Despite Solyndra operating its 110 MW facility close to full capacity in recent months, we estimate that its manufacturing costs still far exceeded the price at which it had to sell its modules at in order to make an investment case for its customers."

He added: "It was losing money fast, and for that reason the closure really comes as no surprise."


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James Rodstrunk

Wednesday, 07.09.2011 10:04

Inside the world of business, bankruptcy is usually the main problem. However, these past years, Solyndra Company had gone through from ups and downs but still in the end they received breakdown. And I don’t think they deserve to be criticized. I’m sure we are all worthy of second chance. We should know every little information about the true story behind this before we have to judge for their act. For some, I want you to know that Solyndra is a California-based solar panel supplier. Solyndra, LLC acquired over $1 billion in investment. $535 million of that investment came in the form of a federally-guaranteed loan. Please check this out for a proof: Government-supported Solyndra declares bankruptcy.

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