Suntech Power in Legal Spat With Q-Cells

Chinese solar company Suntech Power is being sued by German solar giant Q-Cells for alleged breach of contract.
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) -- Chinese solar giant

Suntech Power


and German solar leader

Q Cells

are in a legal spat.

Suntech Power revealed the difference of opinion -- over 14.7 million euros -- in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made after the market close on Wednesday.

Suntech Power stated in its filing that at the beginning of September, Q Cells filed a lawsuit in Berlin against Suntech Power claiming alleged breach of a solar cell supply contract through 2008. Suntech Power stated that the contract was first entered into in June 2005.

The news of a lawsuit involving Q Cells was far from the biggest news in solar out of Germany on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, German solar inverter giant SMA Solar put a scare into the solar markets with an extremely cautious outlook about solar demand in 2011.

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Details were scant in the Suntech Power filing. It noted that the contract between the Chinese solar and German solar giant was entered into prior to Suntech's acquisition of MSK Corporation (now Suntech Power Japan Corporation) with a term through December 31, 2010. The legal complaint is lodged specifically against the Japanese affiliate of Suntech.

Suntech Power's filing included the boilerplate legal defense, stating that it is in the process of evaluating the suit, and "intends to vigorously defend against the claim."

Contract disputes among solar companies are common occurrences.

LDK Solar


filed a lawsuit against

Canadian Solar

(CSIQ) - Get Report

, also at the beginning of September, to demand compensation from Canadian Solar for breach of a "take-or-pay supply agreement signed by the two companies and the illegal termination of the agreement."

LDK Solar signed the 10-year supply agreement with Canadian Solar in 2008. LDK claims that Canadian Solar failed to adhere to its purchase obligations and ceased making payments.

--Written by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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