The renewable side of the energy equation is understandable; the revenue formula isn’t, especially as less-expensive products are introduced to the marketplace…
Solyndra, a California solar panel maker — once a showcase for the Obama administration’s attempt to create clean energy jobs — stopped operating Wednesday as it filed for bankruptcy protection. In the wake of its closing, the closure leaves 1,100 people out of work. It also leaves behind $535 million in federal loans.
According to an article in the Washington Post, over the past two years, President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu each had made congratulatory visits to the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.
Solyndra officials said in a news release that they were suspending operations and planned to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A Chapter 11 filing allows the company time to weigh options, including reorganization, selling the business, or licensing its panel technology to other manufacturers.
“This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate,” Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison said in a statement. “Regulatory and policy uncertainties” made it impossible to raise capital to quickly rescue the operation, he said, making no reference to the $535 million loan that is guaranteed by taxpayers.
In a statement, the White House said the news is a disappointment, however, “the Department of Energy’s overall portfolio of investments continues to perform well and is on pace to create thousands of jobs.”
Wednesday’s announcement came amid a broader shakeout in the solar industry. Energy Department officials said that less expensive solar panels made by government-subsidized companies in China undercut Solyndra’s products.
For consumers, the drop in PV panel pricing will be welcome news.
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