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

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 13th October

Sunergy California LLC, the company manufacturing CSUN solar panels in a 400-MW factory outside Sacramento, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and is now in the process of liquidating its assets.

The American manufacturing arm of China Sunergy Co., Sunergy California filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2021, listing more than $10 million in estimated assets and $17.2 million in liabilities. In addition to numerous breaches of contract, Sunergy was in a lengthy debt battle with DEPCOM Solar, owing the utility-scale solar construction firm almost $4 million.

The expectation was for Sunergy to reorganize while continuing to operate at its 140,000-sq.-ft manufacturing building in McClellan Park in Sacramento County, but later court reports found that the facility had not been operating since late April. An August 2021 site visit by the bankruptcy trustee found that manufacturing equipment, raw materials and finished solar panels were still located within the plant.

More than 3,000 leftover solar panels were eventually sold to Coldwell Solar, a large-scale California solar installer. There are also approximately “10 containers of prepaid goods being held at the Port of Oakland by U.S. Customs.”

Sunergy California panels at SPI 2019

Solar Power World reached out to Sunergy California and its bankruptcy trustee for comment and did not receive a reply.

Chinese solar cell and module manufacturer China Sunergy Co. opened the American factory in 2017 as a way to “efficiently serve customers across the United States.” The facility made 72-cell CSUN/ASUN-branded solar panels mostly used on utility-scale solar projects. Sunergy was listed on this summer’s anonymous petition to the Dept. of Commerce as potentially one of the Chinese solar panel manufacturers circumventing antidumping tariffs by setting up manufacturing outlets in other countries.