One of Australia’s largest solar developers faces insolvency

One of Australia’s largest and most prominent solar developers faces collapse after being placed in the hands of administrators late last week.

According to ASIC documents, the business and its assets are now being managed by Sydney-based insolvency specialist, Restructuring Solutions, a move that is believed to have been made at the request of a US creditor.

Those companies set to be most affected are Trina Solar, said to be a large supplier of modules, and partners including First Solar, which also holds 4.6 million preference shares in the company, according to ASIC.

Other shareholders include staff members and directors, venture capital firm CM Capital, Persephone Investments and Coachhouse Investments.

The company’s business extends across commercial, industrial, utility and residential customers. Its installations include the Fraser Coast 400 kW Community Solar Farm, 235 kW Alice Springs Airport concentrator photovoltaic solar farm and a rooftop solar power system (1.5 MW) at the University of Queensland.

Currently, it is working with First Solar on the ground-breaking $23 million solar plus storage facility at Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations in north Queensland, which was partly funded by ARENA.

The company also installed a solar PV tracking plant at Kangaroo Island airport to provide clean electricity to charge electric vehicles. And it was one of the leaders in the solar leasing market.

The news has stunned many in the industry, and raised speculation that other Australian companies may be in trouble, partly because of uncertainty around the future of the Renewable Energy Target.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson