April 22, 2016
SunEdison has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing total debts of $16.1 billion and assets of $20.7 billion. Once a company that acquired billions of alternative energy assets through the use of a financing mechanism known as yieldcos, experts point out that it was likely financial maneuvering that destroyed it.
Headquartered in Maryland Heights, MD, the company was once known as MEMC Electronics, a manufacturer of solar wafers. In 2009, MEMC acquired SunEdison, which became a developer of solar projects. The company then began moving into renewable power generation assets, eventually spinning off its legacy wafer business. In 2014, SunEdison began using publicly traded yieldcos to acquire renewable energy companies.
But the yieldcos stopped working, and SunEdison continued piling up more debt and billions of dollars of capital commitments. The TerraForm yieldcos are not part of the bankruptcy filing.