Face of U.S. Alternative Energy Bankruptcies Busy in Court Just Days After Solar Dumping Duties Levied

Commerce delighted struggling U.S.-based solar manufacturers – past and present – last week by levying anti-dumping tariffs reported to be between 18% and just under 250% as allegations into illegal government assistance and Chinese “dumping” (selling below cost) of solar power-related products onto the U.S. market. Solyndra, presently under federal investigation for fraud and under the political campaign spotlight because of its ties to the Obama Administration, was the first since to jump on China via lawsuits even though its assets may be liquidated in the near future.

In the last week, Solyndra filed suit against a Chinese manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in U.S. District Court in Oakland, CA. The suit asks for a $1.5 billion judgment against Suntech Power Holdings Co., alleging the Chinese-owned manufacturer’s conduct “constitutes an unlawful conspiracy and combination to fix prices at predatory levels and to monopolize,” thus violating the federal Sherman Antitrust Act and California’s Unfair Practices Act.

Meanwhile, Solyndra was due in court before U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Third Circuit Judge Mary Walrath Wednesday to make arguments to approve its bankruptcy plan. Therein, its assets would be liquidated, though its parent company would reorganize and continue to operate if its plan is confirmed without revision.  Among those urging the judge to not accept the plan are the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Energy and local officials in California.

-Brian Shappell, CBA, NACM staff writer

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