Solar panel plant still on for Truro despite insolvency application by European company

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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TRURO - An Austrian company that has filed for insolvency in that country says the move will not impact plans for a manufacturing plant in Truro.

"Nothing, because it was an act that we were already planning ...," said Rainer Geisler, trustee lawyer and partner with photovoltaic company Hilber Solar, regarding any potential impact the company's recent moves in Austria would have towards its future plans here.

Two tractor-trailer loads of solar panels, valued at $150,000, were delivered to Truro on Wednesday that are to be used as demonstration units and will be set up by Hilber representatives in the near future.

The company plans to set up a manufacturing facility for solar panels in Truro that would serve the North American market.

On Oct. 31, however, the company filed an insolvency application to deal with liabilities of EUR 12,944,000 (approximately $16.6 million Cdn.) because of the elimination of government subsidies for photovoltaic systems in Germany, Italy and Spain and because of a major contract that had been cancelled.

The Truro plant will be operated under the name of Green Technologies Europe Inc., and Geisler said the financing for that endeavour is solid.

"We have Swiss holdings which takes care of our business situations," he said, by telephone while enroute from Switzerland to Vienna on Thursday.

"Everything is very detailed planned so we know exactly what we do."

The cost of the solar panels received by the Town of Truro and their eventual set up is being borne by the company. Geisler said he and other representatives are expected to arrive in the Hubtown within the next few weeks to set up the panels prior to establishing a manufacturing plant, potentially as early as next year.

"It's most important for the coming future," he said of solar power. "And we are still thinking that Town of Truro is a good partner for us to start up in this case of business, which is a green business and a very powerful business in the future."

Truro's business development officer, Rob Turner, said he was surprised to hear of Hilber Solar's insolvency application but after placing calls to both Geisler and company president Michael Dax on Thursday, he was reassured that the plans for Truro are still a go.

"First of all, I'm surprised that they didn't tell us that part of their company was going to experience something like this," Turner said. "But I'm assured by what they told me, that their company is in good shape and they're moving forward with their plans to be in Truro."

Organizations: North American, Green Technologies Europe

Geographic location: Truro, Austria, Germany Italy Spain Switzerland Vienna

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Recent comments

  • sub oily
    November 19, 2012 - 18:07

    @ Sir...well subsidies are subsidies..perhaps we'll be shocked to know gobal governments intend to remove ALL subsidies for the oil and gas sector (since the fossil fuel combustion emits some very serious air pollution and affects ourchildrens health)....So... LOOK Forward to the price of heating oil hitting $4.00 per liter within 5 years...and the price of gas for your car is projected ot hit close to $5.00 per everybody better get busy and start to buy clean technology now ...otherwise we'll all be you think Harper, the oil and gas conglomerates, and the Bushites (Republicans) care about our sorry poor selves..?

  • bennington Group
    November 19, 2012 - 15:47

    Nova Scotia needs to stop dealing with these 2 bit companies that take us to the cleaners. Bennington (MV Miner salvage) and now this solar panel company.

  • Sir
    November 16, 2012 - 12:49

    So, european countries get smart and cancel the subsidization for the solar panels and so called green energy. Do we really have to learn the lesson on a hard way now by ourself or can we just do the same like the european nations? Please stop wasting our hard earned tax money.

  • hahaha
    November 16, 2012 - 12:22

    you nailed it, Skeptic Al.. it is very obvious this is the case, and that the people that are trying to do this are not even capable of such a task. Pllleeeeaaaassse ask for help from someone who is able to do this without ruining it... you guys have such a rotten track record here in town, and although you don't take it seriously or even think it is that important (this is crystal clear) PLEASE enlist help from students or someone who knows about business before you hurt this town more. You have already alienated yourselves after this whole Athletic centre scandal.. you have insulted us (and robbed us) beyond belief. This is your chance to at least keep your jobs. Put away your pride and give this job to someone who can handle it!!!!!!!!!!

  • Scooter
    November 16, 2012 - 11:57

    Al says it all. Type Hilber Solar into Google and the second site that comes up speaks of the insolvency. Did no one take the time to do any kind of research before making these agreements?

  • Skeptic Al
    November 15, 2012 - 22:52

    Wow...this article clearly is a reaction to the reader comments on yesterday's article. It's bad enough that the TDN didn't do some internet digging to learn about the insolvency issue before printing yesterday's story; but what's worse is that obviously the Town's main deal-maker only learned of it from the TDN yesterday! We need more probing on this deal. Are there any incentives involved (eg. tax rebates, etc.)?