Solarnative files for insolvency proceedings

Solarnative microinverter


From pv magazine Germany

Taking part as an exhibitor at the Intersolar Europe trade fair last week at the start of the The smarter E Europe industry event in Munich last week, Solarnative had accelerated the search for a financier with an unusually open statement: They were presenting themselves “on a silver platter” at the trade fair in view of the fact that “all potential interested parties or investors are more or less directly on site.”

On Friday, however, the company then announced briefly and succinctly that the management had decided to file an application for the opening of insolvency proceedings. “Even though the company has received fundamentally positive feedback from potential investors,” it said in justification, “it is not possible to implement new financing within the statutory deadlines, so this step has become necessary.”

This marks the provisional end of the company based in Kriftel near Frankfurt am Main, which was founded in 2019 and set up a production facility for its microinverters in Hofheim am Taunus. Solarnative moved into the premises in September 2022, and the small factory was officially opened in May last year. According to the company, it would have been able to produce up to 100,000 inverters per month at full capacity in three-shift operation; it planned additional production lines and a total capacity of 3 million units per year. Despite the extremely compact PowerStick microinverter, which was intended for installation in module frames, among other things, having an output of just 350 W, this would have corresponded to a total capacity of around 1 GW per year.

Despite the promising outlook, the expansion, did not take place. The technology, developed by company CTO Henk Oldenkamp over decades of work and awarded the Innovation Prize at the Photovoltaic Symposium in Bad Staffelstein in 2017, offers great advantages in terms of compactness and temperature management, and the IntelliGate communication module also provides a technically advanced system for connecting up to 13 inverters. Additional peripheral devices expanded the range. However, the company failed to achieve the expected sales figures; even the actual production capacity of 50,000 units per year led to production exceeding achievable sales.

In March, the company issued a bond for 1.6 million euros “to finance further growth,” but this did not bring the hoped-for success. Now the management, consisting of Oldenkamp and his partner Julian Mattheis, has gone to the insolvency court. According to Solarnative, the total number of employees affected is currently around 130, 80 of whom are in production.

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