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Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing for solar panel manufacturer

Most California residents are probably aware of the importance our state places on solar energy. California has long been a place where solar power has sought to flourish, especially in Southern California where sunny days are no rarity. But unfortunately, in recent years, the solar energy industry has sustained substantial financial losses.

The industry suffered another blow recently, when Konarka Technologies Inc., a prominent manufacturer of solar panels, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Konarka Technologies is one of a string of solar panel manufacturers that have been forced to file for bankruptcy in recent years. As for the reasons for the bankruptcies, some observers cite the decreasing sales price of solar panels due to an increase in the overall supply, as well as Chinese expansion in solar panel production.

In Konarka's Chapter 7 filing, which occurred in Massachusetts, the company listed assets in the $100,000 to $500,000 range, and debts totaling between $10 million to $50 million. The news comes despite financial backing from one of the world's largest energy producers, Chevron Corp.

Our readers in the San Diego area may know that filing for Chapter 7 protection allows a company or an individual to sell off assets, with the proceeds from the sales going to pay off creditors. While any bankruptcy filing can be complicated, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually one of the quicker routes to take. For Konarka Technologies, it appears the company's officials have taken this route because there was no way to maintain a feasible profit margin, and a structured reorganization of the business was not possible.

Source: Bloomberg, "Thin-Film Solar Panel Maker Konarka Files for Bankruptcy," Andrew Herndon and Edvard Pettersson, June 2, 2012

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