Imergy goes into ABC insolvency agreement — intellectual property and assets up for sale

Sherwood Partners, the US insolvency adviser, has been engaged by Imergy, the Vanadium flow battery firm, to market and sell the company’s assets. On July 18 Imergy entered into an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC), a form of insolvency under Californian state law.

The collapse of Imergy had been widely anticipated. It follows the collapse of solar firm, SunEdison in the spring. Imergy had been partnered with SunEdison on a huge Indian rural electrification programme where SunEdison had agreed to buy up to 1,000 of Imergy’s 30kw units over the next three years.

SunEdison was an equity investor in Imergy.

Last December the firms announced they were working together on a 5MW/2OMWh flow battery for the Independent Electricity System Operator, an Ontario, Canada utility.

Sherwood says that now that it is the so-called assignee of Imergy, “we take control and work through the problems of the company. These problems are transferred to the assignee. The management team, investors and the board can then move forward with their lives and everyday business.

“Also, the personal liability of directors and officers for running an insolvent company ceases to be an issue once the assignment of assets occurs.”

Imergy has ceased operations and dismissed its staff. However, some key former employees to help with the sale of the intellectual property and related assets. Some of the claims such as the ability to cut the cost of manufacturing costs the batteries from $500kWh to under $300kWh.

The IP could well provoke interest given Imergy, which was part of Deeya Energy until 2013, had distinct differences from other flow battery firms. It originally worked on an iron-chromium chemistry but shifted to vanadium three years ago. It also moved from using sulphuric acid as an electrolyte to another electrolyte developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

One advantage the company claimed was its ability to use so-called “dirty vanadium”.It claimed to be the first flow battery company able to use secondary resources of vanadium from mining slag, fly ash and other environmental waste. The battery could stay stable up to 55°C without the need for cooling.