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Bankrupt Verengo Solar cuts jobs as court weighs asset sale plan

Verengo Solar has begun cutting jobs less than a week after the California-based residential rooftop solar installer filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to sell its assets to an affiliate of Crius Energy.

Verengo notified the state it will slash 60 jobs at its Anaheim office and another 22 in Torrance – effective 15 November.

The company’s headcount peaked at more than 1,000 in 2013, when GTM Research listed it as the nation’s third largest residential solar installer. It fell to number five in 2014 before exiting the top 10 last year.

Last Friday, Verengo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court after it reportedly defaulted on a bank loan. It has an estimated $10-50m in liabilities.

Verengo’s plan to sell its 20,000-plus installed systems to Crius will require bankruptcy court approval. The company will continue to service the systems until Crius would take possession.

“The acquisition by Crius provides Verengo with access to an exceptional customer platform, reliable infrastructure and capital that position us to grow from our standing as a premier California residential solar provider to an industry leader nationwide,” Verengo chief executive Dan Squiller said in a statement.

Crius, based in Stamford, Connecticut, calls itself “one of the largest independent energy retailers in the US, providing electricity, natural gas and solar products to nearly 900,000 residential and commercial customers.”

The systems’ sale to Crius would provide an infusion of cash, while helping it to expand in California and potentially to other states.

“As the solar industry continues to consolidate, the scale and resources that Crius brings to Verengo will increase our reach to new customers and strengthen our ability to serve our existing customers well into the future,” said Squiller.

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