Large solar company in Norcross files for bankruptcy


Suniva, the Norcross-based builder of solar cells and modules, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

In the filing, the company cites tariffs issues in the industry with causing its financial hardship.

“Whereas Chinese and Taiwanese manufactured solar cells are subject to U.S. tariffs, solar cells manufactured elsewhere are not. It is solar cells manufactured in southeast Asia and included in solar modules or panels that are flooding the United States market, driving down prices.”

In March, the company, laid off 131 workers in Norcross, where it has its headquarters and a solar panel factory. The company also closed its panel assembly plant in Michigan, according to press reports.

Troubles at Suniva, one of the largest U.S. solar manufacturers, are a blow to Georgia’s nascent solar industry. The company had been growing rapidly since its 2007 founding at Georgia Tech - much of it with the help of millions in tax credits for new jobs, grants and other incentives.

Suniva is largely owned by Chinese solar panel maker Shunfeng International Clean Energy, which in 2015 bought a nearly two-thirds stake in Suniva in a bid to boost U.S. sales and avoid tariffs on panels made overseas.

The same year, the company announced plans to triple its production and add 500 jobs with a nearly $100 million expansion. It had 380 employees at the time, including 240 in Georgia.

An AJC analysis at the time of the announcement found the company could stand to receive up to $11 million in state incentives - largely from tax credits embedded in state law if it lived up to the promise of 500 new jobs.

At the time Gwinnett had provided at least $2.4 million in tax incentives to the company.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Solid growth for Georgia economy, predicts UGA’s Terry College
Solid growth for Georgia economy, predicts UGA’s Terry College

While the risk of a downturn is creeping up, the odds are good that the coming year will bring solid economic growth in the state’s industries, according to the annual forecast by the University of Georgia’s business school. Fewer jobs will be created than in the past few years, said Benjamin Ayers, dean of UGA’s Terry College. Still...
Kempner: Arby’s eats Buffalo wings? Why the chicken wing war is on
Kempner: Arby’s eats Buffalo wings? Why the chicken wing war is on

It used to be that chicken wings didn’t do much good, even when still attached to chickens. Now, it’s the priciest part of our most important bird in Georgia. That’s kind of crazy if you think about it. A wimpy wing with the bone still in costs more than boneless breast meat? But restaurants and grocers have figured it out, which...
‘Call of Duty: WWII,’ rallying the shooter on multiple fronts
‘Call of Duty: WWII,’ rallying the shooter on multiple fronts

“Call of Duty: WWII” Rallying The Shooter On Multiple Fronts Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC Style: 1-Player Shooter (18-Player Online) Publisher: Activision Developer: Sledgehammer Games Release: November 3 Rating: M Score: 8.75/10 Concept: Explore a historically rooted campaign, spooky puzzles in zombie mode, and class-based customization...
Twitter doubles length of tweets to 280 characters

When Twitter announced in September it was testing longer tweets, some users praised the change while others feared the site would lose its sense of brevity. Now the San Francisco tech firm has officially doubled the character limit of its tweets to 280 characters. The change applies to all languages except for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese because...
Backup device offers peace of mind, sleek design
Backup device offers peace of mind, sleek design

You might not think of an external hard drive as fun, sexy or cool, but the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini can be any or all of them. I can say first hand you’ll find it useful at home, work, play, and even consider taking it on vacation. And if you wonder why I feel this way, I’ll be happy to tell you. I’ll start by mentioning probably...
More Stories