Solar installer PetersenDean files for bankruptcy protection, cites coronavirus

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Veteran roofer and solar installer PetersenDean filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June with the intention of reorganizing its business and debt.

The California-based company released a statement on Tuesday citing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the motivation for the claim. The company’s prospects had fallen nearly 70% between March and April, PetersenDean told Greentech Media in late May. Over the next month, the declines continued, with prospects dropping 87% from March through May, although the month was not yet over when the company came up with that figure.

Although PetersenDean’s solar business holds less than 1% of the solar market share in the United States, the company has maintained a larger presence in states such as California and Hawaii. But long before the coronavirus outbreak, its overall volumes had been steadily declining for years, according to Wood Mackenzie’s tracker. Installations peaked in 2016, which was a banner year for the residential solar industry at the time (since 2019).

“This shows that the economic impacts of COVID-19 can have a severe impact on larger regional installers and not just the smaller ones,” said Bryan White, WoodMac solar analyst.

While many clean energy projects have altered slowdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic, residential solar struggled to keep up with the sales volumes required to keep business buzzing as usual.

When it came to selling solar power in 2020, PetersenDean had to have a particular advantage in its home country, where new building codes that came into effect this year required most new homes to be associated with a solar installation. The roofer had formed financing and supply partnerships with national solar companies Sunnova and SunPower to take advantage of the new solar regulations.

As the distributed solar industry grapples with downturns from the coronavirus pandemic, Craig Rickabaugh, the company’s national purchasing director, told GTM the new homes were a bright spot for PetersenDean. But Rickabaugh acknowledged in May that consumer demand had “slowed considerably” from pre-COVID-19 levels.

Although PetersenDean’s business will continue to operate as they are restructured, it is not clear whether these existing partnerships will continue now. Sunnova declined to comment on its partnership with PetersenDean. SunPower said it is “monitoring the situation” but has put in place alternative vendors in case it needs to rely on them to keep projects on schedule.

In a filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, PetersenDean estimated its assets to be between $ 10 million and $ 50 million, with estimated liabilities in the same range. In a list of the company’s major creditors, PetersenDean listed overdue debts ranging from about $ 5,761 owed to a Nevada lumber supplier to over $ 21 million owed to a Nevada lumber company. roofing supply based in Wisconsin. The company has between 200 and 999 creditors, depending on the court record.

PetersenDean said the Chapter 11 process, which is commonly used to reorganize a business while developing a debt repayment plan, would be the “best way forward” for the business. In the Chapter 11 process, the business generally plans to become an active business.

“Through this process, we intend to restructure our balance sheet to achieve a more sustainable level of debt in order to reposition the business for long-term success,” said Jim Petersen, founder and CEO of the company, in a press release.

PetersenDean, which sells solar power and roofing through a number of subsidiaries, said he and his companies would continue to operate on all existing projects and maintain a “normal course of business” during the voluntary restructuring.


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