Once feted as the world’s largest renewable energy developer, U.S.-based SunEdison is reported to be contemplating bankruptcy after a series of failed acquisitions and an investigation into its accounting practices, clouding the future for large energy storage projects in Ontario and India.
SunEdison shares, whose values peaked at US$31.57 in July, 2015, traded earlier this week for as little as 20 cents, and the Wall Street Journal and others reported that its management is contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection.
The once high flying company has weathered the failure of several acquisitions, including a proposed US$2 billion merger with Vivint Solar, and is under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation for allegedly misstating its cash position in regulatory filings. It also experienced problems delivering on commitments it made to shareholders in two YieldCos—stand-alone companies designed to provide buyers for SunEdison solar systems and stable returns to investors.
The company’s meltdown now threatens the rollout of significant battery storage projects in two countries by Imergy Power Systems, in which SunEdison is an equity holder, Utility Dive reports.
“The two companies were collaborating on a five-megawatt, 20-megawatt/hour battery storage system for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator,” the outlet reports. “The project was due to kick off in the first half of 2017, with operations and maintenance through SunEdison Services.”
SunEdison had also planned to purchase up to 1,000 of Imergy’s vanadium flow batteries for deployment in rural electrification mini-grid projects in India. That initiative, too, is now in doubt.