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    Solar firm files for bankruptcy, owes Yarmouth residents


    September 30, 2022 - Denise Coffey

     

      SOUTH YARMOUTHSolar Wolf Energy Inc., the company that left about 55 residents with uncompleted or partially completed solar installations as part of a Solarize Yarmouth campaign, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Sept. 23.

      Ted Strzelecki is the president and owner of Solar Wolf.

      Solar Wolf was selected as a contractor for a Solarize Yarmouth campaign in early 2021. The company had responded to a request for proposals issued by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Three proposals received were then sent to a volunteer committee in Yarmouth. With the help of a third-party consultant, they selected Solar Wolf.

      Established in 2015, Solar Wolf was named one of the world's fastest growing companies by INC. Magazine in 2020. The solar installer was ranked No. 427 because of its 1,070% growth.

      Solar Wolf partnered with SunPower Energy Company, whose photovoltaic panels are considered one of the best with high quality and performance, and a 25-year warranty. The company holds an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Solar Wolf was responsible for installation and filing paperwork for net metering agreements.

      Yarmouth Town Administrator Robert Whritenour Jr. said it was his belief that the reason Solar Wolf was chosen for the project was because of its partnership with SolarPower.

      The Massachusetts Solarize program was launched in 2011. Since then, 85 communities and 3,700 residents have signed contracts for installation of solar and other clean energy technologies, according to the state website.

      Bankruptcy will affect up to 49 creditors

      Solar Wolf's bankruptcy will impact between one and 49 creditors, according to court documents Strzelecki filed. He indicated that after administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available to unsecured creditors.

      But according to Whritenour, customers who signed contracts with Solar Wolf have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Orders ranged from $8,677 to $36,921.

      Strzelecki reported $0 to $50,000 in assets and the same in liabilities on the bankruptcy form.

      On Sept. 26, Joseph H. Baldiga, of Mirick, O'Connell, DeMallie & Lougee was appointed interim trustee. He has five days to reject the appointment.

      Also on Sept. 26, the court ordered Solar Wolf's counsel, Attorney Troy Morrison, to file a list of documents by Oct. 11 including a statement of financial affairs. They had been incomplete on Strzelecki's initial filing.

      In an email to the Times, Strzelecki said there were many reasons for his inability to fulfill his contract obligations. He cited inflation, increases in the cost of diesel, supply chain shortages, chip shortages and a nearly 50% increase in the price of SunPower panels. He also cited harsh winter weather, high-risk surgery for a family member, the loss of several other family members, a termination of contract letter from SunPower for defaulting on obligations, SunPower becoming a competitor, and personal trauma.

      Contact Denise Coffey at dcoffey@capecodonline.com.

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