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Solar Millennium’s U.S. Units File for Bankruptcy Protection

U.S. units of Solar Millennium AG, the maker of solar thermal power plants undergoing insolvency proceedings in Germany, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors and plan to sell some businesses.

Solar Millennium Inc., based in Oakland, California, Solar Trust of America LLC and other units listed assets of less than $100 million and debt of as much as $500 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The parent company “has ceased to provide any funding whatsoever” since its insolvency, the U.S. chief operating officer, Edward Kleinschmidt, said in court papers.

Solar Millennium is building one of the largest solar arrays in the world on 7,000 acres in Riverside County near Blythe, California, he said.

The company joins Energy Conversion Devices Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that suspended production last year; LSP Energy LP, the owner of a natural-gas-fired power plant in Mississippi; Ener1 Inc., maker of lithium-ion batteries for plug-in electric cars; solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC; and energy storage company Beacon Power Corp. in bankruptcy.

The main case is In re Solar Trust of America LLC, 12-11136, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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