Citing “significant price pressures,” Ten K Solar, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of PV modules and integrated systems, has announced it is “discontinuing its current operation.”
Founded as a promising start-up in 2008, the company has been making and providing solar hardware with a focus on the commercial sector. Its products include an innovative DUO solution, a fully integrated, dual-tilt system that has two back-to-back modules, built-in racking and electronics. Ten K Solar secured a major equity investment of $25 million led by Goldman Sachs in January 2016, and according to its website, the U.S.-headquartered solar company also has manufacturing operations in Asia.
In a statement, the company says, “Ten K will be discontinuing its current operation and terminating many of the services it formerly provided for its customers.” The manufacturer adds that it expects to complete the process by the third quarter of this year, “has contacted its customers and is working to provide support and transition for their business.”
Ten K Solar has declined to provide further details at the moment, including how many employees will be affected and whether it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nonetheless, the company statement provides a brief explanation for its decision to wind down the business.
“The most recent 18 months have proven to be difficult for companies in the solar industry. Ten K Solar has not been immune to those difficulties, as significant price pressures and scale have proven a significant barrier to profitable growth,” the company says. “In 2016 alone, solar module prices declined greater than 30 percent. After a thorough pursuit of all strategic options, the company has decided to reposition the business to live within the constraints of these marketplace realities.”
Ten K joins a growing list of PV manufacturers, including Mission Solar, First Solar and SunPower, that have blamed the need to restructure operations on global module pricing pressures, among other market challenges. More recently, Georgia-based PV manufacturer Suniva filed a trade complaint seeking new import tariffs on all foreign-made solar cells, and just this week, Germany-based SolarWorld AG charged that the dumping of cheap modules has caused it to file for insolvency proceedings.
In its statement, Ten K Solar disputes claims originated from a story by Greentech Media (GTM), which cites “sources close to the firm” suggesting Ten K’s choice was the result of “rampant” failures of inverters the company incorporated into its products from other vendors.
“Recent articles published by GTM and others were not based on information provided by Ten K or a known trusted source,” the solar company contends. “Ten K’s decisions are based purely on the facts above and are not based on any hardware or product performance issues.”
Photo courtesy of Ten K Solar’s website