Evergreen seeks Chapter 11 protection; more manufacturers to follow


Evergreen was once the darling of the Massachusetts high tech startups, winning some $58 million worth of loans and other incentives from the state government. But when the company filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy proceeding on August 15, creditors were left holding the bag for some $485 million.

Last year, Evergreen closed its Devens, Mass. plant and laid off 800 workers. Now the company will close its offices in Marlboro, Mass, close its plant in Midland, Michigan, and cut jobs in Europe. The company’s Wuhan, Hubei plant will remain open during debt negotiations, at least.

The trouble was that Evergreen’s per-watt manufacturing cost was $1.88 in the fourth quarter of 2010, while Chinese manufacturers were producing for $1.10 a watt.

"Part of the problem was the size of the operation: Evergreen produced 160 MW in 2010, while SolarWorld produced 219 MW, so their production cost is cheaper – probably about $1.50 per watt – because they are bigger," Brett Prior, a senior analyst at GTM Research told pv magazine.

"So who’s next? There will be more companies shuttering production and maybe going out of business. Solon Corp. is closing its Tucson, Arizona plant and will lay off 65 workers. I would also be concerned about SolarWorld, and Schott Solar could be at risk," Prior suggests.

Another analyst predicted that Ascent Solar and Hoku could be headed for bankruptcy court as well.

"Basically it does not bode well for solar manufacturers in industrialized countries with a higher cost basis, which can include higher environmental compliance costs, higher electricity costs, higher material costs, and a higher cost of borrowing money to build these facilities," explains Prior.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.