Solar Energy Company Satcon Technology Files for Bankruptcy Help
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Solar Energy Company Satcon Technology Files for Bankruptcy Help

November 21, 2012

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Satcon Technology Corp., a solar energy company based in Boston, announced that it is filing for bankruptcy help, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Sources say the company is one of the biggest manufacturers of large-scale "power conversion solutions for the renewable energy market," and its bankruptcy filing follows a series of other filings from companies with similar clean energy objectives.

One day before Satcon’s announcement, A123 Systems Inc., a provider of lithium ion batteries, also filed for bankruptcy protection, starting what would become a bad trend for clean energy.

Satcon is looking for debt relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, but sources note that the company plans to continue producing its power conversion tools during the bankruptcy process.

According to Satcon’s president, Steve Rhoades, recent "difficult" financial times prompted the company to file for bankruptcy, which will allow Satcon "to continue to operate" while giving the company an "opportunity to reorganize with a stronger balance sheet and capital structure."

The company’s primary source of revenue is the solar power industry, but sources say it is not responsible for the physical production of solar panels.

Manufacturers of solar panels have recently seen a tremendous slump, as dropping prices, increased competition from China, and an excess of supply has sunk the finances of many panel producers.

Satcon, fortunately, escaped these ills, but its troubles are certainly related to the collapse of the solar panel market. The company designs and creates the transportation infrastructure that makes it possible for solar power plants to actually collect the energy captured within the panels.

In addition, Satcon helps plants design systems to efficiently feed solar power into the larger grid. And even though this particular service is more specialized that the construction of solar panels, it still left Satcon susceptible to the same market shifts that undermined solar panel manufacturers in recent years.

In addition, sources note that the United States currently has a vast amount of cheap natural gas, and has also discovered new domestic sources of oil, which could put a short-term halt to the development of clean energy.


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