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Satcon's financial demise was caused by increased competition with Chinese companies and decreased demand for solar power installations around the world

It's just not a good week for renewable energy companies. Just one day after A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy, solar company Satcon Technology has now filed for Chapter 11.

Satcon Technology, which is a Boston-based company that develops solar inverters, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today as a result of the poor state of the solar power industry as well as financial earnings. It filed its petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Satcon's financial demise was caused by increased competition with Chinese companies and decreased demand for solar power installations around the world. 

From 2005-2011, the solar company posted annual financial losses. It also reported losses in the first six months of 2012, and announced that it would reduce its workforce by 35 percent in January. Around that same time, Satcon also mentioned closing a factory in Canada.

"This has been a difficult time for Satcon," said Steve Rhoades, Satcon's president and CEO. "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."

Satcon isn't the only solar company to file for bankruptcy. In September 2011, solar panel company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). After that, a line of other alternative energy companies also filed for Chapter 11 after receiving government loans, such as Beacon Power, a flywheel maker for grid efficiency that received $43 million in 2010, and Ener1, an electric vehicle (EV) battery maker whose EnerDel subsidiary won a $118.5 million grant in 2009. 

Just yesterday, EV battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy. It was reported that A123 was missing loan payments and finally decided to sell its automotive business assets to Johnson Controls, which is a company that optimizes energy efficiency in car batteries, buildings and electronics. The total value of the transaction was $125 million.

Sources: Washington Post, Reuters, Satcon Technology

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RE: Interesting
By FITCamaro on 10/18/2012 7:33:28 AM , Rating: 3
Even with cutbacks, money is still being thrown around like candy here in the US for "green" energy. And these companies still can't stay in business.

The fact is, it's expensive, unreliable, doesn't work everywhere, and where it does work, still puts out less energy than other sources per dollar.

If I built my own home in an area where solar makes sense, would I have it built with the home? Sure. Individual solar installations make sense, albeit they're still more expensive than most people can afford. But building power plants out of solar panels do not. Power plants need to provide stable power at all times. Not just when the sun is up or the wind is blowing.

RE: Interesting
By paydirt on 10/18/2012 9:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
European governments are actually removing the subsidies. Some big ones have been removed already (Spain & Germany).

RE: Interesting
By FITCamaro on 10/18/2012 9:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
Is Europe in the US?

RE: Interesting
By Ammohunt on 10/18/2012 11:26:26 AM , Rating: 5
Lately under this administration its been hard to tell the difference...

RE: Interesting
By mdogs444 on 10/18/2012 9:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, Spain did not remove their subsidies because the model was so successful. They did so because they have 25% unemployment and they are going bankrupt.

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