Thin-film PV manufacturer Solyndra, which went through a highly publicized bankruptcy more than a year ago, has filed suit against Suntech Power Holdings Co.
According to Bloomberg, Solyndra is seeking compensation from Suntech – as well as from China's energy administration, Chinese banks and Chinese polysilicon manufacturers – for what it believes are losses caused by the Chinese companies' ‘illegal cartel.’
Chinese solar manufacturers Trina and Yingli are also named in the complaint for allegedly raising money from U.S. investors while harming their American competitors.
In the suit, Solyndra says that the Chinese companies destroyed Solyndra's business by flooding the U.S. solar market with low-cost modules, thus causing the industry-wide drop in module prices. Suntech, its raw materials suppliers and its lenders are accused of conspiring with each other to harm U.S. solar manufacturers.
These claims are not unprecedented: During the ongoing Congressional investigations into Solyndra's controversial $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), several witnesses – including DOE officials – cited low-cost solar products from China as the key cause of Solyndra's demise.
The U.S. Department of Commerce ruled earlier this week to apply anti-dumping tariffs to PV cells produced in China, following an extensive investigation into whether Suntech, Trina, Yingli and other Chinese manufacturers dumped solar products in the U.S. The investigation originated from a complaint filed by SolarWorld and its coalition partners.