Late in 2017, the company that developed the innovative “Smart Flower,” a solar+storage product that comes to life when the sun rises, tracks the sun all day and then stores some of the energy captured for later use, announced it was insolvent.
According to German credit protection association AKV, bankruptcy proceedings were opened against the company on November 17, 2017. The company has outstanding debts of about $5.2 million euros to 20 creditors and sales to date have not been enough to cover its costs, the proceedings stated. Debtors had until January 15, 2018 to file claims against the company.
Smart Flower hit the U.S. in 2016 when investor Jim Gordon, the man behind Cape Wind, exhibited the Smart Flower at Intersolar North America in San Francisco. At that time, Jim Gordon sat down with Cassie Haley of PowerToday to discuss his new venture. You can watch the video at this link.
U.S. Division of Solar + Storage Smart Flower Readies for U.S. Solar Manufacturing
While the Austrian Smart Flower developer may be insolvent, the U.S. division is going strong, according to Jim Gordon, CEO. Gordon said that when he invested in the company, he purchased the intellectual property (IP) rights.
“We have the western hemisphere,” he said.
The company is continuing to operate as usual, selling the units that Gordon purchased with his original investment in the company, which are currently in a warehouse in the U.S.
“We are selling the product, customers like it and we are going to be starting U.S. manufacturing,” he said.
Gordon declined to offer many details about the manufacturing plans for the company but said that it will be in “a New England state.” He said he is working with a reputable contract manufacturer that has experience manufacturing equipment of this form and function.
Gordon added that the company plans to improve the product with the addition of EV charging and integrated battery storage.
More Solar Insolvencies
Last week, Germany’s SolarWorld also filed for insolvency, which is the second time in less than one year that the company said it was bankrupt. After the May 2017 filing, the company received a bailout from Qatar but troubles remained, hence last week’s second insolvency.
This article was updated on April 3, 2018, at 2:45 p.m. ET, with comments from Jim Gordon.