Energy Conversion files for bankruptcy protection

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 14, 2012 10:18 AM

(Reuters) - Energy Conversion Devices Inc, which makes lightweight solar products, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after months of discussions with bondholders.

The company said it would sell its United Solar Ovonic unit and other assets in bankruptcy. The sale plan has the support of some creditors, it said.

Energy Conversion, whose products are used for rooftops and buildings, has not posted a profit since 2009. Last year it cut production drastically after European demand dropped off.

The company temporarily suspended manufacturing of its lightweight solar products last fall and said it would cut 500 jobs.

Like many in the solar industry, Energy Conversion has struggled to keep costs down as prices on solar panels fell, due in part to Italian and German government subsidies. Several other solar companies have filed for bankruptcy in the past year, including Evergreen Solar Inc.

(Reporting By Caroline Humer; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)