Breaking News
More () »

Troubled solar company could be on the verge of shutting down

Since FOCUS began investigating Solar Titan U.S.A., the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says it has received about 95 customer complaints.

LONDON, Ky. — Becky Jackson of London, Kentucky has made several payments for a solar power system that still hasn’t been turned on.

FOCUS has interviewed many Solar Titan U.S.A. customers just like her.

Now, all she can do is wonder if her system will ever be operational.

“I honestly think that they’ve disappeared, and they have no intention of coming back,” Jackson said.

Her and her son have been battling to get the job done, and done right to pass inspection. Now they can't get anyone on the phone.

WHAS11's sister station, WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee -- where Solar Titan is headquartered -- reported that the company moved out of its building for smaller office space.

In that report, text messages from a number associated with Richard Atnip, one of Solar Titan’s owners, stated that his company has significantly reduced staff and he blames Generac, a giant in the generator business, for supplying his business with faulty equipment.

Solar Titan has sold Generac batteries, which store excess solar power, to customers as an accessory.

When asked how many customers have been affected, a text stated, “Enough to bring a very healthy company that had a 40,000 square foot corporate headquarters to its knees.”

Generac, meanwhile, issued a statement to FOCUS saying that it stands by its products and proper performance requires proper installation:

Generac is a leading manufacturer of solar + storage solutions, and we sell our products to a wide range of independent distributors and solar contractors.

We are disappointed to hear of any instances where customers are not satisfied with the performance of their system. Proper sizing, system requirements and installation in accordance with manufacturer guidelines is required for proper system performance and should be performed by qualified independent contractors.

We stand by our products and warranty obligations. If any customer has product concerns or needs warranty support for Generac components of their solar systems, they can contact us at solarsupport@generac.com or 1-800-396-1281 for assistance. We will help pair such customers with a Generac-authorized warranty service provider.

Meanwhile, records show that since June, Atnip has been selling off millions of dollars in personal real estate.

“He knows lawsuits are probably following up with a whole lot of people,” Jackson said. “And he wants to make sure his assets are protected, that’s what him selling his properties tell me.”

Since FOCUS began investigating Solar Titan’s business practices last April, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says customer complaints it’s received have grown from about a dozen to at least 95.

Dozens of customer complaints have also been filed with the Attorneys General in several other states, including Tennessee and Georgia.

Phones calls by FOCUS to Solar Titan have not been returned.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.    

Before You Leave, Check This Out