SAN FRANCISCO—Loss-ridden Evergreen Solar Inc. Monday (Aug. 15) announced that it filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.
Evergreen (Marlboro, Mass.), a manufacturer of solar cells, said it would cut about 65 jobs in the U.S. and Europe as part of reorganization activities connected to the bankruptcy filing. The reorganization includes suspension of operations at the company's filament facility in Midland, Mich., Evergreen said.
Evergreen said it expects to continue manufacturing operations at its facility in Wuhan, China, depending on market demand while the company engages in discussions with investors in China regarding possible changes to that operation and its sources of financing, including the possibility of transitioning its operations to the company’s new industry standard wafer technology.
Evergreen said it entered into a restructuring support agreement with holders of 70 percent of the company's 13 percent convertible senior secured notes. Evergreen said it was considering selling some of its assets, including its wafer technology assets.
As part of the restructuring, an entity formed by the supporting noteholders, ES Purchaser, LLC, entered into an asset purchase agreement with Evergree, the company said. ES Purchaser will serve as a "stalking-horse” and provide a "credit-bid" for assets being sold, Evergreen ssaid.
In January, Evergreen announced its intent to shut down operations at its Devens, Mass,. manufacturing facility, cutting about 800 jobs. According to a report by the Associated Press, Evergreen received millions in grants and tax incentives from Massachusetts before announcing the closure of the Devens facility.
"Since January, Evergreen Solar has been aggressively repositioning itself to fully leverage the potential our String Ribbon wafers can bring to high volume solar cell and module manufacturers as these customers are facing severe pressure to further reduce their total cost of manufacturing and particularly their wafer supply costs," said Michael El-Hillow, Evergreen's president and CEO, in a statement. "The actions we are taking today enable the continued development of an industry standard wafer using Evergreen’s differentiated technology and thereby provide the lowest cost wafer to the growing solar industry."
Evergreen expects to continue its technology development without interruption during the Chapter 11 process, El-Hillow said. "Day-to-day operations will go on as usual as employees carry out their responsibilities and we will continue to pay our suppliers and vendors for goods and services received during this period," he said.
Well said. Its just like other US companies who's CEO came in flight when there were trials for Bankruptcy, where as Chinese airline CEO came in his own flight in economy seat by paying for himself. I think this shows how sincere is the management towards making company to work.
Ever green (ESLR) need a good CEO!!! I used to own this stock and then sold all once I saw a news about the companies decision to close a facilities and build a new one in Devens location, but they do not have a solide plan. Later on, the compnay announced to open or buy ( I do not remembered the details)another one in china, and then last yeat announced looking fro buyer for the Deven facility. You see, when the stock is high they so not trying to make a solid fundation but spending or unwisely expanind... They new a better management. Plus, MA state government offer them help with sibidies or something, they still can not make money. I has been in dot com and saw "people burn money within weeks" buy unwisely expandind, offer free to empliyee, becasue those money are free...
Natural solar energy collectors, i.e. trees, has taken more than 3 billion years to develop, yet they still reach an efficiency of only 0.1%
In a span of a few decades, human solar energy collectors have reached an efficiency of 20%. Quite impressive, don't you think?
In business, as in biological evolution, there will be individual winners and losers. But life goes on and improves, because a loser will just make room for winners who are better fit.
A few days back there was an article posted with the title "Report: solar demand gains, revenues flat".
From what I could interpret from that article (..."China, and India will emerge to drive significant volumes, and the U.S. will thrive given the government’s support of tax equity through 2016 and a myriad of state-level programs, according to Lux Research..."), I think, in the current economic situation in US and Europe, not much could be expected as investment from the respective Governments. Hence, in this situation, looks to me that Evergreen has chosen the best possible alternative to survive.
Ignoring the pesky details has long been something unscrupulous sceintists and their promters have done.
Remember the promises of superconductors in the 1980s. Lossless superconducting power grids all fine if you ignore the energy costs of refrigerating thousands of miles of cables to well below zero.
And fly cars... easy enough if you ignore the problems of landing/take off and that car drivers struggle to control a car in 2D. How is adding a third dimension going to work.
Well these guys (ribbon solar) were way to arrogant during the early phases of technology development, and then got stuck on a platform that became dated over time. I think this is called Darwian bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy of Evergreen should be seen as market judgment on their proprietary string-ribbon process, and not a general indication of the viability of the overall solar supply chain, in the US or elsewhere.
@DrQuine: "We keep hearing about radical new methods for manufacturing low cost solar cells. "
Yes, and these methods are promulgated by scientists, not manufacturing engineers. I had a friend at one of these solar start-ups. They were going to make panels for way under a dollar a watt. Then they were surprised when the slitter for the panels got all gunked up with the TeCu or whatever goo they were printing on the substrate. Then they actually hired a mechanical engineer to put the substrate in a real panel with a glass cover and enough structure to mount to a roof. Ooppsee, the 50 cents a watt went to 3 bucks. Some scientists are arrogant egomaniacs that think they are a smarter than engineers. That is why it is is so likely these brainiac outfits will fail. Engineering is science at low cost, and that is way harder than science alone.
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