White House-Backed Solar Energy Company Collapses

By Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene
ABC News
Sept 1, 2011

Solyndra, a renewable energy firm that became the darling of the Obama Administration, shut the doors to its California headquarters today, raising sharp questions from the administration’s critics about political favoritism in the federal loan program.

“We smelled a rat from the onset,” Republican House Energy and Commerce Committee members Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Fred Upton said in a statement to ABC News of the the $535 million government loan guarantee awarded to Solyndra in 2009.

The manufacturer of rooftop solar panels opened in 2005 and in 2009 became the Obama administration’s first recipient of an half-billion dollar energy loan guarantee meant to help minimize the risk to venture capital firms that were backing the solar start-up. Obama made a personal visit to the factory last year to herald its bright future.

ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News first reported on questions about the choice of Solyndra for the loan in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure its loan package for the company, which was showing early signs of financial distress. One of Solyndra’s major investors was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election.

Following the ABC News and iWatch News reports, the House Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation into the loan, which Stearns and Upton said today was “suspect from day one.”

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20 Responses to “White House-Backed Solar Energy Company Collapses”

  1. I have friends who had friends that worked there.. they said that when they rolled into work, the doors were closed, and they were not even allowed on the property. “surprise, your out of work”… If I remember correctly, roughly 2 weeks after the big money grant hit them, they announced laying off of several hundred because they installed robots to do the work.. Sorrento praised them for hiring people, said they were what the country needed and then gave them the money. Now they shut the doors… Everything in the building will most likely be returned to the distributor of the machine. The building will go back to the company that leased it out.. Will the money the GOV gave be returned as well?? hell no…

  2. Sounds like “someone” pocketed money and left town!

    I once worked for a company that had $7 million in payroll but only made $1 million a year……
    Can we say “whitehouse/government backed”?
    That company has been in business since 1979 and still going, thanks to the “PEOPLE’S MONEY”!

    Keep working hard to only be stolen from!


  3. big fat exec bonuses before going bankrupt no doubt..

    IF bungholio (obummer) had told baled out automakers to mass produce permanent magnet alternators, blades, hubs, and grid feeding controllers for 5 mini windmills on every rooftop..
    theyed pay for themselves within 2-3 years most places.
    mass produced they might come in around 200 bucks per mill, x5 is 1000.
    grid feeding controllers are now about 700 bucks, mass produced might be 400 each..
    that’d leave about 600 bucks for a couple guys to install em onto a home.

    I know in winter my average consumption is about 2.5kw/h with the bills being about 150 bucks.
    if it saved me 50+ a month thats 600+ a year.. paid for itself in about 3, and faster in areas that have better more constant wind available.

    that 535 million could have equipped 267,500 homes, at 2000 per home, and its a whole lot more bang for the buck than photovoltaic solar panels, which could be purchased later with what was saved on the electric bill if they werent constantly jacking up the prices..

    the automakers are the perfect candidate for production like this and they can make higher output units for windier areas, lower output units for lower wind areas, with different blades that are appropriate-efficient for the conditions of a location.

    I’m taking about production work, installation work, and sometimes maintenance work..
    but bungholio already showed his true colors wanting to hand the contract for giant corporate wind farms made in China, with land stolen using eminent domain, where near half the power would be sucked away by transmission-delivery line loss which is a major problem for wind power.

    disclaimer: I’m not a total ‘greenie weenie’, there ARE solutions available that govt and media wont talk about at all, because it might give power to the people, literally!

    NEXT UP: if sewage treatment plants were retrofit to collect methane to burn in engines turning generators.. with the exhaust heat used to keep the digester tanks warmer to enhance digestion and methane production, we’d have a source of clean energy as well as better sewage treatment.
    our bodies use about 15% of the calories (heat!) we eat and our output is about 125 watts.
    that means theres at least 4x that available from our waste, is easy 500 watts per person.

    the damned Rothschild punk showed us this with his “plastiki” toy, 400 watts is just a bit over 1/2hp and its enough energy to move 1800lbs 5mph if the hull is shaped for efficiency.
    500 watts is about 2/3hp and can move 1400lbs about 7mph
    – go-fast.com/boat_speed_predictions.htm

    plug in 1420lbs, .67hp, hull constant 300, and hit the speed calculate button gives 7mph.
    thats hull, crew, supplies, all up weight. it’d be 7x24x7 = 1176 miles a week. granted its crazy-brave to go it alone out in the ocean even in perfect conditions and I’m sure his “plastiki” had help available for anything anytime something might have happened and I dont like him either..
    but over 1000 miles a week for eatin and poopin, is not unimpressive!

    I’m not a genius, this just shows “politicians” are either dumber than I am, or they’re deliberately NOT looking out for OUR best interests, the latter probably moreso the truth.

  4. Who has the money for such expensive technologies? Of course they would be closing their doors. An idea that does solve problems and cut social/taxpayer expenses and solves homelessness and other problems…Jay Shafer’s tiny house on wheels. But that makes too much sense. I hope one day people realize, this government is not trying to save money and nor are any tax payers. Tax payers just like complaining because some are not gaining ground as they would like…but if they were concerned there would be drastic changes. But there are not, people just like to complain. If you look into defense spending and some of the people that have been hired, you will find that every now and then there is a person who comes along trying to save the government some money and get a better value with projects. What happens to them? They are threatened and silenced and others learn to follow suit in silence. Savings like spending a nickle for a screw rather than $100 or hiring the best people. Well, doing that is impacting someone’s pocket and they don’t like that and they’re probably in charge. Social workers aren’t interesting in solving social problems because, they would be out of work. Can’t have that! So the majority of people have an interest for the government not to work, for life not to work. So shut up and pay up! Expenses are kept high, people are kept down because it is good for someone. Another firm got away with $500 Million…mad it wasn’t you are you?

    • read my “little” post above and consider they tried to kill my dad for his patent regarding sewage treatment, ruined his health for the rest of his shortened life RIP.

      his working model filled the space of a small bedroom (literally).
      input = raw sewage, output = clean distilled water and bacteria free sludge that could be used with asphalt, or mixed and made into plastics like a bakalite or many other uses. it ran on its own methane collection and there was a surplus of it too which could have been used elsewhere.
      I’m not yankin anyones chain about this, true story, very close to home.

      you’re correct about how they operate!!

  5. Just goes to show stimulus can’t always keep a company going

    go to: Dailyjobcuts.com

  6. Raising Questions About Favoritism ???? Are you kidding me? That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Has there ever been a program that someone didn’t get VERY VERY rich from? Hell, JP Morgan even makes money off FOOD STAMPS!!!!!! Does anything get done in DC that someone doesn’t “help a friend” by doing it? Don’t be naive. It’s that way now, and always has been. Don’t think that if you went back to the past — reset the “America clock” so to speak — it would be any different. placeofrefuge2012.com

  7. While media muses over billion, How many trillions did Paulson and his buddies steal?

  8. Barry signed the $500M energy loan guarantee with much hoopla in Denver on a rooftop covered with the much-touted Namaste Solar panels located in Boulder. Namaste has since laid a number of staff off because Xcel Energy cut the amount of government subsidy per install. No surprise there.

    I was looking up the story behind Namaste’s staff cuts on Google and lo and behold, I could not find any stories on it. Only the stories about the big signing of the bill back in 2009. Total info blackout. I went to Startpage and was able to find the local newspaper’s story on Namaste’s cuts.

    What even funnier/sad/tragic we have EcoTech, basically a college for “green technologies”. I see their commercials all the time on TV. My husband and I wonder how much longer this “school” is going to be in business. Where are the graduates going to find jobs? There’s a reason why Spain has 20% unemployment b/c they were the poster child for “the new green economy.”

    • Green might be the biggest racket in history.

      • It would hve to become viable energy source before it becomes a racket…It will never be given proper oppurtunities because the biggest racket “oil” does not want competition. Going green is not a bad ideal but it is treated as such. What is wrong with trying to cut down of pollutants…This carbon tax bs shoul be payed by the corporations who create this mess and if that were the case no one would be hostile towards a carbon tax. What exactly does the EPA do with the money it collects. Should we never search for a better way even if such way is not that lucrative. Or do we merely sit back as the oil runs out and never explore ways to alleviate our energy concerns.

        • Who do you think is promoting green industry? It’s big oil. And there are plenty of green industry technologies being subsidized by the taxpayer. It’s a racket.

      • Health will always be, people claim to care about their health but don’t do anything about it.

        Ohh the medical loons will be making more than ever….

        Who cares? Dont bother paying taxes and ignore it PERIOD!

    • When I was looking to get back into school 2 years ago I called ecotech up (I live here in Denver) and they were talking 40 grand for a 4 year degree in renewable energy. Of course I enrolled in a local community college instead, for an A.S. degree. My college offers a renewable energy technician certificate for a few thousand dollars and just takes a few months, figured I’d go that route when I’m done with my associates.

  9. one word will simply suffice


  10. It was doomed to collapse. Solar energy will only be good for small applications, not home power on a large scale. This was just a way for the Obama administration to reward friends. You can bet the money is in private accounts.

    • yes-n-no, and cloudy days will suck rocks of course! a parabolic mirror boiling water for a steam engine can put out a lot more power than the same square footage of photovoltaics, but theres also more moving parts and potential for mechanical failures..

      agreed about the greed and where-how the money got squirreled away, it might even be relative to financial fraud investigations recently scrapped by the SEC.. nothing to see here!

  11. The federal government should not guarantee any loan for any business, period. The whole idea of this program is favoritism whether the repubs or the dems are picking and choosing which business they like. If these businesses were worth anything investors would take the chance even without a fed guarantee. It isn’t a good business in my opinion because it is too expensive and the savings just aren’t enough. Obama should try to be a president; no one elected him to be the spokeshole for Solyndra, or blackberry or whatever else he is selling.

  12. This is just like Obama’s jobs plan and his new “infrastructure bank”. It’s nothing but a mafia style racket. The federal government is a national crime syndicate. Obama’s not trying to create jobs, he’s trying to give fat gov’t contracts to his campaign donors.

  13. There’s a reason why nothing will work out for the White House.

    Learn what Obama, Osama, Biden, Bin Laden, the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, and Sarah Palin had to do with the last presidential election and the military’s overthrow of our government. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret.blogspot

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