Fuel-Cell Producer ClearEdge Power Files for Bankruptcy

ClearEdge Power Inc., a closely held maker of stationary fuel cells, sought bankruptcy protection less than two months after raising $5 million in a debt and equity sale.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company listed assets and debt of more than $100 million each in Chapter 11 papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Jose, California.

ClearEdge’s fuel cells primarily use natural gas to produce heat and electricity, according to its website. The company previously raised $36 million in March 2013 to expand manufacturing and sales operations.

Shares of fuel-cell makers dropped after the filing. Ballard Power Systems Inc. fell as much as 3.7 percent, Plug Power Inc. dropped as much as 2.8 percent and FuelCell Energy Inc. declined as much as 1.8 percent.

ClearEdge’s largest unsecured creditors include Metro Mold and Design LLC, with a claim of $3.2 million; ABB Inc., with a claim of $2.5 million; and B-G Mechanical Service Inc., with a claim of $2 million, according to court papers. Company affiliates ClearEdge Power LLC and ClearEdge Power International also sought court protection.

Former ClearEdge employee Peter Wojciechowski sued the company in federal court in San Jose on April 28 on behalf of about 250 workers, seeking damages for lost wages and benefits.

The company failed to provide employees at its South Windsor, Connecticut, facility the required 60 days’ notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act when it fired almost all of them a week ago, he said.

The case is ClearEdge Power Inc., 14-bk-51955, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). The WARN lawsuit is Wojciechowski v. Clearedge Power Inc, 14-cv-01951, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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