In a new twist to both the sagas over Solyndra’s demise and the trade war between the US and China over dumping of solar modules, the bankrupt firm has filed an anti-trust case against the largest PV module manufacturer, Suntech Power Holdings, in the US district court, Northern District of California.
The case, Solyndra LLC v. Suntech Power Holdings Ltd., 12-05272 is claiming that Chinese module manufacturers including Suntech ran an illegal cartel that also involved China-based polysilicon producers, financial institutions and Chinese government agencies that allowed below-cost modules to be sold in the US.
As a result, Solyndra went into bankruptcy and now seeks significant compensation. According to Bloomberg, lawyers for Solyndra put a US$1.5 billion price tag on the Solyndra business value before its demise.
A report noted that plans by Solyndra to divvy remaining funds to creditors would be put forward to the bankruptcy court next week that involve two of the investment firms that backed the failed start-up, Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP.
The report notes that the two firms had been bankrolling Solyndra during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings as well as needing to operate a shell company to get existing tax benefits allocated to Solyndra.
What wasn’t clear was whether the lawsuit filed by Solyndra against Suntech and other Chinese module manufacturers was instigated by the investment firms.
Both Trina Solar and Yingli Green have responded to the anti-trust litigation started by bankrupt CIGS module manufacturer, Solyndra over the weekend.
Yingli Green quoted Robert Petrina, Managing Director, Yingli Green Energy Americas as saying, “We just received notice of this complaint, but from our initial review, these are unwarranted and misguided claims from a company that has a clear history of failed technology and achievements. We will vigorously defend ourselves with the expectation that Yingli will prevail.”
While Trina Solar issued a statement defending itself, stating that;
‘The Company believes the lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously defend itself against the baseless allegations in the complaint. The Company is not in a position to evaluate the potential impact of this lawsuit on its business at this time.’