Things move quickly in the solar industry, and one year can see dramatic changes. In February 2018 SunLink was claiming 150% year-over-year growth in its mounting and tracking business, but now the company has agreed to withdraw from the U.S. market as a creditor prepares to auction off its assets.
Late last year NEXTracker sued SunLink for infringing on two of its patents, the details of which were discussed in detail in this article by pv magazine’s John Weaver. Now SunLink appears to have withdrawn from the lawsuit in defeat, agreeing to the following terms:
SunLink shall not anywhere in the United States, manufacture, import, sell, offer to sell, license, lease, transfer or otherwise distribute the Current Tracker Products, or any products no more than colorably different therefrom, during the life of the asserted NEXTracker Patents and any continuations thereof.
But this is not the only trouble that the company faces. Multiplier Capital, which claims an interest in SunLink’s assets, has announced that it plans to foreclose on the assets of SunLink and will sell them at a public auction on April 30.
The list of assets to be sold pretty much sums up the whole company. Per the description on the auction page:
The assets being sold constitute all ten issued Patents and one allowed patent related to photovoltaic panel clamp, photovoltaic module mounting systems and photovoltaic module carrier. They also include all the intellectual property, software / tools (quoting, bidding, project design automation, commissioning application source code, vertex source code, master controller source code, mechanical part drawings, product concept models) related to the design and construction of fixed tilt and intelligent tracker solar mounting solutions for large utility-scale and industrial PV projects.
Interested parties can bid for all or part of the assets, and it’s not clear what if anything will be left of the company after this sale. But as this company falls, others will take its market share. The U.S. utility-scale solar market is booming and trackers are taking an ever-increasing share of this market, not only in the Southwest, but increasingly in emerging markets in the U.S. South and Midwest.