4 June 2010


Sunovia and EPIR in contract dispute

Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc of Sarasota, FL, which is commercializing concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) tracking systems based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells, says that it is currently in dispute with EPIR Technologies Inc of Bolingbrook, IL, USA, which develops infrared sensor, biosensor and solar photovoltaic products. Sunovia adds that the dispute may ultimately require it to commence litigation against EPIR. It has already engaged Chicago-based law firm Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman & Dunn Ltd as special counsel.

“We have notified EPIR that it is in breach of our agreement and submitted a formal request to EPIR, as a shareholder of EPIR, to deliver certain corporate and financial records,” says Sunovia’s chairman & CEO Carl Smith. “No lawsuit has been filed by either company but our management has grown concerned that it may be required to commence litigation. We will, however, continue to seek an amicable solution to these issues.”

“Sunovia and EPIR established and agreed upon timeframes, in writing and signed by both companies, that required EPIR to deliver a 1–3MW pilot production facility in early 2010 for solar CPV cadmium telluride wafers. This date was not met by EPIR,” Smith continues. “In addition, we requested comprehensive financial records from EPIR... We believe that we need these records for financial reporting purposes and that the records should be made available to us as a shareholder of EPIR and under the agreements between the companies. EPIR has disputed our assertions but indicated that it remains willing to attempt to resolve our differences.”

“Sunovia made a series of false allegations regarding EPIR and its performance under an agreement with Sunovia,” responds EPIR’s CEO Dr Siva Sivananthan, a director of the Microphysics Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago who founded EPIR in 1998 to develop infrared materials for the US military based on mercury cadmium telluride (CdHgTe, or MCT). “We will vigorously defend ourselves in connection with Sunovia’s allegations and are confident that we will prevail should Sunovia pursue any of the legal avenues intimated,” he adds. EPIR reiterated that Sunovia’s claims are entirely without merit and explained that it is considering all potential options with respect to Sunovia and its conduct.

“Sunovia has provided more than $11m in cash and equity to EPIR, and we have notified EPIR that all further capital payments to EPIR under our agreements will be suspended until this dispute is resolved,” says Smith.

“ We continue to develop the CPV solar system and we are already in negotiations to ensure that we will be able to secure a replacement solar wafer component for our solar CPV system from an alternate provider should EPIR fail to fulfill its obligations,” Smith continues. Sunovia emphasizes that its system is compatible with not II-VI but also III-V solar cell technologies. “We are working diligently to ensure that we remain on schedule for our solar system deployment and we fully expect to commence with initial installations of the new system on schedule.”

See related items:

Sunovia claims CdTe solar breakthrough

Sunovia and EPIR complete closed space sublimation system

Sunovia and EPIR expanding R&D and pilot manufacturing facility

Second DOE contract for Sunovia/EPIR targets IR detectors

DOE selects EPIR/Sunovia’s CdTe-on-Si PV technology

Search: Sunovia EPIR CPV CdTe solar cells