1000-MW Blythe Solar Project Files for Chapter 11

U.S. units of Solar Millennium AG, the maker of concentrating solar thermal power plants undergoing insolvency proceedings in Germany, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors and plan to sell some businesses.

The company joins Energy Conversion Devices Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that suspended production last year; LSP Energy LP, the owner of a natural-gas-fired power plant in Mississippi; Ener1 Inc., maker of lithium-ion batteries for plug-in electric vehicles; solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC; and energy storage company Beacon Power Corp. in bankruptcy.

Solar Millennium’s US subsidiaries and investment filed for Chapter 11 insolvency proceedings in a concerted action. Insolvency proceedings pursuant to Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code provide a legal framework for structured reorganization and restructuring measures. During the proceedings, Chapter 11 furthermore prevents the access of creditors to the assets of the US subsidiaries.

By initiating Chapter 11 proceedings, Solar Millennium AG’s insolvency administrator intends to allow for a structured sales process of the US-American projects. Following solarhybrid AG’s insolvency application, regular financing of the US companies was no longer secured. "Chapter 11 proceedings ensure, that interested parties can enquire about the projects and make offers in the course of a public tendering procedure", Böhm emphasizes.

The main objective still is to make best use of the US projects to the creditors’ benefit. A sale of the US investments in particular would open up good prospects for a cash guarantee furnished by Solar Millennium in the million dollar range to add back to the Company’s assets.

Böhm had already arranged for the previous management of the US business to be replaced in preparation for Chapter 11 last week and installed US-based restructuring expert Ned Kleinschmidt.