The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Evergreen Solar Finds Chinese Buyer for Its Technology

Watching a bankruptcy process unfold is like watching the slow death of a company. Evergreen Solar, which announced the bankruptcy filing back in August, has sold is core assets for $6 million and some shares of the buyer, China Private Equity Investment Holdings.

The completion of the sale, announced last Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, also came with the news that Evergreen’s board of directors had let go CEO, Michael El-Hillow, effective immediately. The company served the same termination notices to its CFO, Donald W. Reilly, CTO, Lawrence Felton, chief strategy officer Richard G. Ghleboski, and general manager of the Asia operations, Henry Ng.

The board then appointed Christian M. Ehrbar as the CEO and Paul Kawa as the CFO as the company continues its march toward the end of the bankruptcy process.

Evergreen’s core technology centers around the manufacturing of silicon wafers that uses a technology first developed at MIT. The sale it announced last Friday included the intellectual property of this wafer technology, which the company promised to deliver very efficient cells. The buyer, China Private Equity, is listed on the London Alternative Investment Market. It not only spent $6 million in cash but also forked over some 7.6 million shares of its stock for Evergreen’s technology.

The sales price isn’t much for a company that has been around since 1994 and tried to popularize its novel approach to making silicon cells, which it then turned into solar panels. But the technology ended up producing wafers that required more specialized factory tool, something that made it difficult for the company to find buyers who could buy more standardized equipment to make silicon cells.

The solar company has struggled for some years. Driving down production costs was a big challenge for Evergreen, which announced in early 2009 that it would move some of its production to China. After that, it gradually shuttered its factories in the U.S. as the market came to be dominated by manufactures that could build factories quickly to reduce costs.

So it’s not surprising that a Chinese investment company picked up Evergreen’s assets, though whether it can make good money from it remains to be seen.

But at least Evergreen has found a buyer for its technology. Solyndra is still looking. The company held an auction of non-core assets, such as posters, t-shirts and lab equipment, earlier this month but was hoping to find a buyer who could buy the company’s manufacturing operation and intellectual property and re-start production. The deadline for the sale of this core asset came and went, and Solyndra is now looking at selling its core assets bit by bit.

Solyndra snagged a $535 million federal loan to build a new factory and outfit it with equipment last year. The goal was to mass produce its novel solar panels containing rows of cell-filled tubes in order to drive down costs. But the company couldn’t manage to reduce its cost fast enough to counter the dramatic fall in prices for conventional silicon solar panels this year.

It filed for bankruptcy in September and became a pawn in a political bickering between the Republicans and Democrats and sparked debates about the government’s role in funding renewable energy development. 


Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Ucilia Wang is a California-based freelance journalist who writes about renewable energy. She previously was the associate editor at Greentech Media and a staff writer covering the semiconductor industry at Red Herring. In addition to Renewable En...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Sponsor/Exhibitor: MIREC Week 2015

Solectria, Pillar, and Variadores together are co-Silver Sponsors! Come ...

More Power, More Profit Tour - San Diego

Register for the SMA More Power, More Profit Tour for free, in-person sa...


EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

Boulder County Residents Generate Their Own Energy with Community S...

Despite a soggy afternoon, solar energy advocates gathered at ...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now