Chinese solar panel affiliate in California files bankruptcy, begins liquidating 400-MW plant

Sunergy California LLC, the company that manufactures CSUN solar panels at a 400 MW plant outside Sacramento, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and is now liquidating its assets.

The U.S. manufacturing arm of China Sunergy Co., Sunergy California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2021, with more than $10 million in estimated assets and $17.2 million in liabilities. In addition to numerous breaches of contract, Sunergy was in a protracted debt battle with DEPCOM Solar, owing the solar company nearly $4 million.

Sunergy was expected to reorganize while continuing to operate at its 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Sacramento County’s McClellan Park, but subsequent court records showed the facility had been out of operation since late April. During a site visit by the bankruptcy trustee in August 2021, it appeared that production equipment, raw materials and finished solar panels were still in the factory.

More than 3,000 surviving solar panels were eventually sold to Coldwell Solar, a large-scale solar installation company in California. There are also about “10 containers of prepaid goods held by U.S. Customs in the Port of Oakland.”

Panels from Sunergy California at SPI 2019

Solar Energy World contacted Sunergy California and its curator for comment and received no response.

The Chinese solar cell and module manufacturer China Sunergy Co. opened the US factory in 2017 as a way to “serve customers in the United States efficiently”. The facility made 72-cell CSUN/ASUN-branded solar panels typically used for utility-scale solar projects. Sunergy was mentioned in this summer’s anonymous petition to the Ministry of Commerce as one of China’s solar panel manufacturers who may be circumventing anti-dumping tariffs by setting up production facilities in other countries.

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