By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
American solar system manufacturer Solyndra will suspend operations immediately and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To blame: foreign rivals and a global glut of panels.
American solar system manufacturer Solyndra announced on Wednesday that it would suspend operations immediately and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
More than 1,000 employees are laid off, effective immediately.
The company offered "global economic and solar industry market conditions" as the reason, though being on the hook for a $535 million loan from the U.S. Treasury's Federal Financing Bank in March 2009 couldn't have helped -- although you could make the counter-argument that it's the only way the company survived for this long. (The money was used to expand manufacturing capacity in Fremont, Calif.)
Options for the company's bankruptcy include the licensing its CIGS technology and manufacturing expertise and an outright sale of its business.
The company falls from a high perch. It saw strong growth in the first half of 2001, particularly in North America, where it inked several deals for large commercial rooftop installations. In the last two years, it received visits from U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. president Barack Obama.
But Solyndra says it could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers. Governmental uncertainty in Europe, the decline in credit markets and a global oversupply of solar panels -- and subsequent reduction in prices -- was too much to bear, it said.
"Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion," Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison said in a statement. "Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate."
It's not the only solar firm to go belly-up. Earlier this month, Evergreen Solar called it quits for the same reasons, though SmartPlanet editor-in-chief Larry Dignan said it was mismanagement that did the company in.
Photo: Lawrence Jackson/White House
Related on SmartPlanet:
- DOE grants another $2.1 billion to solar developers
- Global cleantech VC investment up 65% in 1H 2010, report says
- Solyndra withdraws IPO, raises $175 million instead
Aug 31, 2011
The whole Green Jobs thing is a scam. Without taxpayer support they can't cut it. If it was so good, it wouldn't need such outrageous handouts and legislative demands that we embrace it. Also, it appears that when Barrack shows up, it is the kiss of death for your company.
This "company" was nothing more than an enterprise to extort money from the American taxpayers and enrich Obama supporters. Every single "company" that Obama has used in his political backdrop has either closed, filed for bankruptcy, or has laid off tons of workers.
I don't see anything to particularly distinguish the D's from the R's in regard to things like this. I believe Halliburton was sucking wind before Cheney became VP.
...and another half-billion-plus wasted in the name of "green". Oh, and let's not skip over the whole appearance of impropriety thing considering that Solyndra was the child of billionaire and Democratic fundraiser George Kaiser. Once again, we not only get see the folly of government picking winners and losers with taxpayer money, but the corruption as well. How much of that half-billion made it back to the Obama 2012 campaign I wonder.
They are claiming bankrupcy to avoid paying back the government loan while their manufacturing equipment and jobs are moved to India under another name. Photon Solar. 2 new 16 MW solar farms to be built in southern California by Solyndra were allocated to their India subsidiary, Photon Solar in July of 2010. This just over a year after the government loan was to be used to expand their California plant to meet US demand. It was not foreign competitors who put them out of business. How is that green jobs agenda doing Mr. President?
...except that it's the D's favor of larger and interventionist government which makes this kind of thing possible in the first place. That the GOP tends to exploit it in the same way does not change the fundamental flaw of the paradigm.
Again, I don't see that much difference between D's and R's in terms of larger interventionist government. It's just directed differently. R's toward defense and business, D's toward social programs.