SolarWorld Americas receives $6m cash lifeline


SolarWorld Americas, the Hillsboro, Oregon-based U.S. division of the bankrupt German solar company SolarWorld AG, has received confirmation today that its creditors will forward $6 million in cash to enable the company to stabilize through 2017.

In a short press release, SolarWorld Americas also revealed that it expects to receive a “double-digit-million-dollar” infusion of cash over the course of the year in addition to the $6 million already agreed. This cash injection will, the company hopes, arrive via the sale of assets not required for operations.

SolarWorld’s U.S. creditors have permitted the firm to sell such assets provided the proceeds are put towards funding operations. SolarWorld Americas president Juergen Stein said that this “financial reinforcement” would be beneficial for its customers, suppliers and staff.

“It means quite simply that we can reassure our business partners that we will remain a reliable force not only in supply leading solar technology but also in continuing to fight for fair trade in the U.S. market and improving market conditions there,” Stein remarked.

SolarWorld AG filed for insolvency in Germany in May, sparking speculation that SolarWorld Americas would tumble immediately afterwards. However, the U.S. operations have plowed on, albeit with vastly reduced staffing numbers at the Hillsboro plant.

With fewer employees, the facility has been able to remain open, but its longer term future beyond 2017 appear shaky, to say the least. The firm’s lenders have acquiesced to the sale of a warehouse and land adjacent to the Hillsboro site, and funds raised from these activities may be enough to underwrite SolarWorld Americas’ continuing operations into 2018.

“We are reinvesting in our business to continue serving our loyal customers,” Stein added. “With that, we will continue to fight for the U.S. solar industry’s future, just as we have done through the industry’s ups and downs over these past four decades.”

A large portion of Solarworld Americas’ future plans hinge on the outcome of the Section 201 petition, first taken up by Suniva and then later co-opted by SolarWorld. The petition seeks relief for the U.S. solar manufacturing industry from what SolarWorld calls a “deluge of imports” – chiefly from China – that it claims have distorted the market.

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