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Energy Conversion Devices files for bankruptcy as solar energy lags

• www.freep.com

In the latest setback for the solar energy industry, Auburn Hills-based Energy Conversion Devices said today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and intends to sell its assets, including its main subsidiary United Solar Ovonic.

“We firmly believe there is a strong and sustainable commercial market for Uni-Solar products,” Julian Hawkins, ECD’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “However our current capital structure and legacy costs are preventing USO from making the investments necessary for the future of the business without restructuring through the bankruptcy process.”

The maker of solar roofing materials, which will continue to operate, employs 750 workers, 60% of them in Michigan. They will remain active employees during the sales process though some have been furloughed, said company spokesman Michael Schostak.

 

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