WILMINGTON, Del. - Solyndra, the solar panel maker whose $535 million federal loan guarantee was criticized by Republican lawmakers, filed for bankruptcy yesterday to become at least the third solar company to seek court protection from creditors since August.
The company said it had up to $1 billion of debts and up to $1 billion of assets in a Chapter 11 petition filed in Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington. More than $783 million of the debt was senior and secured.
Solyndra said it failed because it couldn’t compete with foreign manufacturers, funded by their governments, which produced an oversupply of panels at low prices and offered buyers lengthy payment terms. Demand for its panels also fell as European governments reduced incentives for buying solar energy, said W.G. Stover, chief financial officer, in a filing.
While in bankruptcy, Solyndra will either try to sell its business or liquidate for the benefit of creditors, he said.
On Aug. 31, the company shut down, firing 1,100 employees.
Solyndra produces cylindrical panels that convert sunlight into electricity using a thin-film technology.