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Solar company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Manhattan firm with two former Long Island offices owes millions of dollars to more than 200 creditors, including more than $4.5 million to LI’s Cooper Electric Supply.

A November 2016 Google street view photo of

A November 2016 Google street view photo of the Level Solar company inside the Bethpage Business Park in Hicksville, Sept. 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Level Solar, a Manhattan-based provider of rooftop solar power that shuttered operations in September, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing debts in excess of $5 million.

The company listed assets of between $50 million and $100 million, and more than 200 creditors.

Among the creditors was Hauppauge-based Cooper Electric Supply Co., its primary electric equipment and parts supplier, which is owed more than $4.5 million, according to the filing in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

Level Solar sought bankruptcy court approval to hire a forensic accounting firm to look into “potential financial and other misconduct” of a former company official “and possibly others,” according to the filing.

As previously reported in Newsday, Level Solar, which operated offices in Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, terminated all non headquarters employees in late September. Most of the employees worked on Long Island, where the company had more than 2,000 customers. Level also had offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In 2015, the company reached an agreement to borrow up to $25 million from the state’s Green Bank program. A source said the Green Bank on Friday sent a notice of default and removal to Level Solar.

A spokeswoman for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said the Green Bank has “worked closely with Level Solar’s management” and shareholders to “protect the New York Green Bank’s investment” and “minimize disruption” to customers. The bank “will continue to work through the bankruptcy process to ensure its secured investment in the Level Solar projects is fully protected and customers continue to receive seamless service.”

SUNation Solar Systems, a Ronkonkoma-based solar installer, has since assumed much of the operations of Level Solar, including billing, service and installations, in an agreement that shields the Long Island company from any of Level’s liabilities. SUNation chief Scott Maskin said the company was “cranking away making Level customers SUNation customers.”

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