The Australian solar industry has been rocked by the apparent collapse of one of the country’s largest and most prominent solar developers, the Queensland-based Ingenero.
Chris MacDonnell from the Sydney-based insolvency specialist Restructuring Solutions is now managing the business, and has taken control of all assets, including its leasing contracts with Barcoo Council and others.
Among those most affected could by Trina Solar, said to be a large supplier of modules, and partners such as First Solar, which also holds 4.6 million preference shares in the company, according to ASIC files.
Other shareholders include staff members and directors, venture capital firm CM capital, Persephone Investments and Coachhouse Investments.
Ingenero and First Solar are also working on the ground-breaking $23 million solar plus storage facility at Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations in north Queensland, which has been partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Last year, they teamed up to accelerate the roll-out of hybrid PV systems in regional Australia.
Ingenero’s business extends across commercial, industrial, utility and residential customers. Its installations include the Fraser Coast 400 kW Community Solar Farm, 235 kW Alice Springs Airport concentrator photovoltaic solar farm and a rooftop solar power system (1.5 MW) at the University of Queensland (pictured).
It also installed a solar PV tracking plant at Kangaroo Island airport to provide clean electricity to charge electric vehicles. And it was one of the leaders in the solar leasing market.
The news stunned many in the industry, and raised speculation that other Australian companies may also be in trouble, partly because of uncertainty around the future of the renewable energy target.
There is speculation that the RET will be diluted and incentives to smaller scale installations (less than 100kW) removed – a decision that some in the industry say could cause the market to contract by half – sending hundreds of businesses to the wall and causing thousands of jobs to be lost.
RenewEconomy sought to speak with MacDonnell and Ingenero but its calls were not returned before publication.