Hard cell: solar firm's failure takes a divot out of Adelaide's finances. Photo: Getty Images
Adelaide United football club will join a line of creditors hoping to reclaim about $5 million after South Australian-based Unleash Solar went into voluntary administration on Wednesday.
Unleash Solar rode the boom in solar photovoltaic panel installations, rising to an annual turnover of $80 million with 80 employees. Customer complaints, though, over failures to meet warranties prompted the state's Consumer Affairs Commissioner Paul White to issue the company a warning on Tuesday.
The company's director Dion Perdikoyiannis told voluntary administrators Austin Taylor and Tony James of Meertens Chartered Accountants that Unleash Solar owed Adelaide United about $250,000 as part of a sponsorship deal.
"They haven't paid it," Mr Taylor confirmed.
Unleash Solar was a prolific sponsor of Adelaide-based sporting clubs. Both the 36ers NBL basketball team and Woodville West Torrens AFL football club list Unleash as one of the corporate partners on their websites.
Mr Taylor did not have details on the sponsorship to the two clubs.
He said the company blamed its problems on a cashflow squeeze after the federal government delayed paying rebates as part of the small-scale renewable energy scheme two years ago.
Robert Grant, chairman of energy efficiency and solar company, Mark Group, said the government had been doing appropriate due diligence on the quality of installations at the time, and that other companies had managed to cope with the drop in the value of the renewable energy certificates.
Mr Taylor said a potential buyer had emerged to take over the assets of the company. Solar websites such as Solarquotes.com.au attracted complaints about Unleash's operations.