A solar panel manufacturer that recently went into receivership is seeing some legal paper pile up.
Quinte News has learned that Strathcona Energy, Fath PV Tech and their owners have been named in a number of legal documents, requesting financial compensation. Some of the requests come from contractors or their legal counsel.
In one Statement of Claim, counsel filed papers on behalf of an aluminum company Sinobec Trading Inc. requesting payment for close to $184,000 U.S. A court official tells Quinte News that a default judgement was awarded to the company.
However, due to the receivership of Strathcona, many of the lawsuits, or compensation requests were stayed by the courts. Also one person who filed a wrongful dismissal claim had his hearing stayed.
In an email obtained by Quinte News, Strathcona, Fath PV Tech and the owners are claimed to owe $2.4 million to LGH Secured Creditors. The allegations are still before the courts, but have not been proven.
Royal Bank of Canada, who took over the company’s assets, placed Fuller Landau LLP in charge of the receivership.
Meantime, Strathcona Energy no longer owns 250 Sidney Street (former Nortel property). They were using the site for panel manufacturing and had dozens of employees working inside, however owner Karl Hollett tells Quinte News he does not believe anything is being manufactured inside the building. Hollett says he cannot comment further, requesting Quinte News reach out to Fuller Landau. We are awaiting comment from Fuller Landau.
Former Strathcona spokesperson Kelly Rumble says he has stepped away from Strathcona due to the current litigation and financial issues with the company. Rumble says at one point the company had $100 million in contracts, however many of them are still in jeopardy.
Strathcona Energy has a sister company called Strathcona Energy Power Generation, which is not part of the receivership. It has numerous solar projects, particularly in northern Ontario, that they were awarded under the Feed In Tariff program.
The federal government is involved as well. In July 2016, FedDev Ontario provided Strathcona $1.95 million (repayable loan) towards bringing 86 jobs to the Belleville and Napanee operations (Napanee Fath PV Tech), over an undetermined period of time. A source who asked not to be named tells us $1.25 million of the zero interest loan had been transferred to Strathcona owners. FedDev Ontario would not comment on the status of the loan.