SolarWorld AG, parent company to SolarWorld Americas (the largest crystalline-silicon solar module manufacturer in the United States for more than 40 years), announced in a brief statement that it has filed for insolvency.
Citing the “ongoing price erosion and the development of the business,” SolarWorld AG said it “no longer has a positive going concern prognosis [and] is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings.”
The company is currently evaluating whether SolarWorld Americas and its other affiliated companies also have to file for insolvency. SolarWorld AG is headquartered in Bonn, Germany.
This news comes on the heels of fellow non-Asian solar module manufacturer Suniva filing bankruptcy in late April 2017 and filing a petition to impose trade tariffs on foreign solar cells. SolarWorld has long led the fight for trade cases against Chinese solar panel manufacturers, accusing them of dumping lower-cost solar panels in the North American and European markets.
In a press release last month, U.S. president of SolarWorld Juergen Stein said, “China’s continued violation of international trade laws must be addressed. We have used all legal means available to us since 2011 to right these wrongs. For the sake of the solar industry in the West, it is now time for stiffer, more concerted action.
“The U.S. and European markets are the industry’s seats of innovation,” he continued. “To see them undermined as a matter of policy of a foreign, nonmarket government is unacceptable. It’s too late for thousands of jobs that have been lost. But it’s not too late for this industry to return to creating breakthroughs and jobs.”
No word yet on how the insolvency will affect employees at SolarWorld’s manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.