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Cloudy Future for Solar Power Company Based in Massachusetts

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October 17, 2012

Cloudy Future for Solar Power Company Based in Massachusetts

By Ed Silverstein
TMCnet Contributor


Alternative energy companies are dropping like flies.

The latest casualty – along with its subsidiaries – to run for cover and seek Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection is Satcon Technology Corporation, a solar energy firm based in Massachusetts.

Satcon’s CEO, Steve Rhoades, said in a statement, “This has been a difficult time for Satcon. After careful consideration of available alternatives, the company’s Board of Directors determined that the Chapter 11 filings were a necessary and prudent step, allowing the Company to continue to operate while giving us the opportunity to reorganize with a stronger balance sheet and capital structure.”

“Our goal is for Satcon to emerge from bankruptcy reorganization and continue to provide our customers with the quality products that they need,” he added.

The Boston Business Journal notes that Satcon’s filing represents the second clean energy company in the state to file for bankruptcy protection this week.

Earlier this week, Massachusetts-based battery maker A123 Systems filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A123 has lost a billion dollars since it started in 2001, according to Delaware Online.

“This by itself might not mean so much, but considering that A123 Systems took a $249 million grant from the United States government down into the hole with it, it's giving Republicans fresh ammunition going into election season,” according to a report from TMCnet’s Steve Anderson.

On the other hand, Satcon recently defaulted on $16 million in debt, according to the Boston Business Journal. Earlier this year, Satcon laid off 140 employees. Last year, Satcon “was one of the worst stock-market performers in the Boston area,” the Boston Business Journal claimed.

Satcon Technology Corporation has six subsidiaries. They were identified by PV Magazine as: Satcon Power Systems, Inc., Satcon Electronics, Inc., Satcon Power Systems (California), LLC, Satcon Power Systems Canada, Ltd, Satcon International, s.r.o. and Satcon Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

Satcon focuses on making “photovoltaic inverters for large-scale commercial and utility projects,” according to PV Magazine.

As of June, Satcon’s assets were $92.3 million, PV Magazine said, citing documents on file in court. Its total debt was $121.9 million.

Earlier this year, Satcon approved a 1-for-8 reverse stock split of its common stock, according to TMCnet.

Last year, California solar panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and liquidated. The move led to the loss of a $500-million loan guarantee from the U.S. government.

Edited by Braden Becker

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