Another solar giant files for bankruptcy

A German solar industry giant that helped usher in a new era of solar energy, has announced that it will file for bankruptcy, but that it will continue to work to restructure.

In a statement released by Q-Cells this week, “the Executive Board and the preliminary insolvency administrator will work together to secure the continuity of the company within the insolvency proceedings.”

The move follows an unrelated higher court ruling on Friday that Q-Cells says limits its ability to move ahead with a debt restructuring plan.

The filing is the most prominent to date in the recent shake-out hitting the solar industry. The drastic drop in photovoltaic module pricing, the oversupply that has remained a drag on the industry and drastic subsidy cuts in Europe and beyond continue to put extreme pressure on solar manufacturers.

Nowhere, perhaps, has this confluence of factors been felt greater than the headquarters of Q-Cells, which was the world’s biggest solar manufacturer in 2007 and 2008 before being overtaken during the rise of powerhouses coming mostly from China.

The company had worked to broaden its services in recent years. In addition to cell making, the company sells both silicon-based and CIGS PV modules. It also has moved toward project development, and in an earnings report the company said that that move has in fact boosted its economic health.

Since August of last year, several solar companies, including Solon, Solar Millennium, Solyndra, Evergreen Solar and SpectraWatt, have filed for bankruptcy.

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