Solar company Pink Energy files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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Mooresville-based solar company Pink Energy said Monday it was cutting 500 jobs, blaming customers for equipment failures at its former business partner, Generac Power Systems Inc.

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After its sudden shutdown amid lawsuits and a flurry of complaints, North Carolina solar energy company Pink Energy has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Mooresville-based company, formerly known as Power Home Solar, filed Oct. 7 for liquidation bankruptcy in the Western District of North Carolina, according to documents. Pink Energy claims to have more than $138 million in debt and at least $100 million in assets, according to court documents. The Charlotte Business Journal first reported on the bankruptcy filing.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy aims to liquidate the business, unlike a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy.

It’s the latest initiative from the eight-year-old solar company that has served 35,000 residential solar customers in 16 states, including about 5,700 homes in North Carolina.

pink energyThe problems stem from what company CEO Jayson Waller believes is faulty equipment from his former business partner. Wisconsin-based Generac Power Systems leading to “rampant consumer dissatisfaction”.

Timeline of the fall of Pink Energy

In August, Pink Energy sued Generac in federal court in Virginia, citing negligence, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Generac-produced switches that were supposed to cut off power to individual solar panels in the event of a lightning strike or power surge melted or exploded, according to Pink Energy’s complaint.

Last month, Pink Energy announced its third round of company-wide layoffs before closing for good. Pink Energy had more than 2,100 employees at the start of the year before all the layoffs, company officials told the Charlotte Observer.

Last week, Jayson Waller, CEO of Pink Energy on LinkedIn again blamed former business partner Generac for the solar equipment failure resulting in financial hardship.

Generac blamed Pink Energy. The SnapRS issue was caused by improper installation by Pink Energy, the company said in an email to The Charlotte Observer. Generac said customers who need help with its components can contact them.

Additionally, Pink Energy is under investigation by four attorneys general from North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Ohio, amid lawsuits and customer complaints.

Last week, Waller apologized to clients on LinkedIn:

“I’m sorry that customers were confused and upset. The events leading up to this point came fast and furiously. We’ve spent over $50 million on services in just a few months.

Now Pink Energy, which also faces more than a dozen federal lawsuits since mid-July, is seeking redress from its creditors who have filed for bankruptcy.

In the balance sheet

The bankruptcy court filing shows that Pink Energy has between 25,001 and 50,000 creditors.

Among the largest listed creditors are: JP Morgan Chase Bank for nearly $81 million; Meta Platforms Inc. in California for nearly $4.6 million; and US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and Silfab Solar in Buffalo, NY, both for more than $3.6 million.

Among the creditors are also the leaders of Pink Energy. Co-founders Jayson Waller of Davidson and Kevin Klink of Mooresville each owed $442,714.88, and COO Stephen Murphy of Florida owed $340,543.92, according to the filing.

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Catherine Muccigrosso is a retail journalist for The Charlotte Observer. An award-winning journalist, she has worked for several newspapers and McClatchy for over a decade.

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