PoliticsThe Solyndra Scandal

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From: BW9/30/2011 3:07:33 PM
   of 1400
FACT. Market Conditions Shifted Significantly from 2009 to 2011. A Bloomberg News report noted that Solyndra had “advantages that were more important in 2009 when it received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee to build a factory” than they are now, noting that the price of the silicon-based panels with which Solyndra was competing “has fallen 46 percent since then.” The article also quoted Julian Hawking of Abound Solar Inc., who stated: “When Solyndra started up it was a completely different time for the industry. Nobody expected the huge drop in polysilicon prices.” [Bloomberg, 9/14/11]

Solyndra Raised $1 Billion In Private Capital. Time noted that “in addition to government loan guarantees, Solyndra also scored over $1 billion in private capital–including from GOP-friendly investors like the Walton family of Wal-Mart.” [Time, 9/15/11]

WSJ Ranked Solyndra As The Top U.S. Clean Tech Company. In 2010, the Wall Street Journalranked Solyndra the top clean-tech company with the “capital, executive experience and investor know-how to succeed in an increasingly crowded field.” The “research firm VentureSource (owned by NewsCorp., which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Journal) calculated the rankings, applying a set of financial criteria to some 350 U.S.-based venture-backed businesses in clean technology.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/7/10]

CLAIM: It Was Obvious Before Loan Guarantee Was Granted That Solyndra Would Fail
  • Investor’s Business Daily: “Solyndra was not a good investment and the White House knew it.” [Investor's Business Daily, 9/14/11]
  • Fox’s Trace Gallagher: “[M]any experts say there was nothing about this company that was at all promising.” [Fox News, America Live, 9/15/11]
  • David Webb on Fox: Solyndra “was never viable.” [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 9/15/11, via Nexis]

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To: joseffy who wrote (59)9/30/2011 3:09:33 PM
From: BW
   of 1400
Walton’s Firm Also Part Of The Deal, Which DOE Expects Will Result In Higher Recovery For Taxpayers

Memo: Walton Family’s Firm Was Part Of The Restructuring Deal. A memo released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee states that both Argonaut Venture Capital, the fund tied to Kaiser’s foundation, and Madrone Capital Partners, which is tied to the Walton family, “negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement to restructure the Solyndra loan guarantee”:

AP: “Two Private Investors” Provided The Emergency Loans. Despite its headline, “Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor,” the AP article stated that Madrone Partners LP was also part of the deal:

Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors — Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP – stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government. [Associated Press, 9/16/11]

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From: BW9/30/2011 3:11:27 PM
   of 1400
I suspect josephy will ban me soon instead of trying to dispute any of the FACTS I have presented to counter his numerous postings of misinformation.

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To: BW who wrote (75)9/30/2011 3:21:41 PM
From: joseffy
4 Recommendations   of 1400
Die-hard partisans of the current administration, such as BW, are FRANTIC about the Solyndra Scandal.

As his juvenile posting here illustrates.

The Solyndra Scandal scares the living hell out of them.

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To: BW who wrote (75)9/30/2011 4:02:09 PM
From: longnshort
3 Recommendations   of 1400
what do you think of Pelosi's brother in Law getting 750 million in another rob the taxpayers from the crook in chief

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To: BW who wrote (73)9/30/2011 4:04:11 PM
From: longnshort
2 Recommendations   of 1400
$737 billion to Nancy Pelosi's brother in law's company:

Sunny and Share

With only 48 hours remaining in which it could hand out poorly-researched business loans, the Department of Energy just gave out another $1 billion in taxpayer money to two solar energy companies.

But there's good reason to believe that this won't be another Solyndra-style debacle. After all, SolarReserve, the company which received most of the money, is associated with one of the members of Solyndra's board of surely he must have learned something useful from the total collapse of that company, right?

And since there just wasn't time to run a comprehensive (or comprehensible) financial check on SolarReserve before handing over $737,000,000, it's very reassuring to know that its "investment partner" has Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law in the number two spot.

And the fact that all of this money is being spent in Harry Reid's home state? Pure coincidence! But again, it's comforting to know that the senator (famous for making sure that the federally-funded Cowboy Poetry Festival is efficiently and cost-effectively managed) will be keeping his bitter, hawk-like gaze on how the public's money is being spent.

Of course, all of this looks a lot like Washington's typical game of "crony capitalism" smoke and mirrors...and in this case, that's exactly what it is.

After all, SolarReserve's big idea is to collect solar energy using lots and lots of expensive mirrors.

As for the smoke...we got a lot of it from the Obama administration when the half-billion given to Solyndra disappeared. So imagine how much there will be when this billion goes up in smoke, too.

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To: BW who wrote (74)9/30/2011 4:05:57 PM
From: longnshort
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Here is the PR. The grant was a routine, basic research grant to the University of Florida. The amount of money involved was $600,000 on a project that costs $800,000.

It was NOT the government giving $600K to Solyndra & others. They put up the other $200,000 to do the research.

More detail at


US invests $13.7 million in solar energy projects.26 Mar 2008Eleven projects have won funding to develop advanced photovoltaic technologies, as Washington aims to make solar energy cost-competitive by 2015. solar cells The US Department of Energy (DOE) has earmarked up to $13.7 million over the next three years for the eleven selected research projects, while agreed cost sharing with the universities and industry partners should boost the total investment across all the projects to $17.4 million. "These projects will help meet President Bush's goal of making clean and renewable solar power commercially viable by 2015," said Alexander Karsner of the DOE.

The selected research projects are claimed to have the potential to reduce the cost of electricity produced by photovoltaic (PV) methods from current levels of $0.18-$0.23 per Kilowatt hour to as little as $0.05 per kWh, a price that the DOE believes will be competitive in markets nationwide. The presence of industrial partners in each project is intended to ensure a focus on commercialization and rapid progress to market.

DOE funding for individual projects ranges from $0.6 million to $1.5 million, and will support the development of technologies such as tunable narrow bandgap absorbers, synthesis techniques for novel PV materials and reliability evaluation testing of concentrator PVs, among other studies.

The largest grant has been awarded to the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion (UD IEC), which will receive $3.75 million for two separate projects. In the first, researchers at IEC will work with Dow Corning to develop flexible copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) solar cells based on a low-cost stainless steel substrate coated with silicon. This can withstand the high processing temperatures needed to produce high-quality CIGS films using roll-to-roll techniques. The target is to produce cells with efficiencies greater than 12%, which would allow a 1 m2 panel to generate 120 W of electricity.

The IEC will also collaborate with SunPower, a manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline solar cells, to couple amorphous silicon films with crystalline silicon wafers to enable low-temperature processing and enhance electrical performance. The goal here is to increase efficiencies beyond 26%.

Other projects funded by the DOE are:

• Arizona State University with SolFocus and Soliant Energy: Reliability evaluation of concentrator photovoltaics per IEC qualification specifications.

• California Institute of Technology with Spectrolab: 100 mm engineered InP on Si laminate substrates for InP-based multijunction solar cells.

• Georgia Institute of Technology with Sixtron: Rear contact technologies for next generation high-efficiency commercial silicon solar cells.

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology with CaliSolar and BP Solar: Defect engineering, cell processing, and modelling for high-performance, low-cost crystalline silicon photovoltaics.

• North Carolina State University with Spectrolab: Tunable narrow bandgap absorbers for ultra high efficiency multijunction solar cells.

• Pennsylvania State University with Honeywell: Organic semiconductor heterojunction solar cells for efficient, low-cost, large area scalable solar energy conversion.

• University of Florida with Global Solar Energy, International Solar Electric Technology, Nanosolar and Solyndra: Routes for rapid synthesis of CIGS absorbers.

• University of Toledo with Calyxo USA: Improved atmospheric vapour pressure deposition to produce thin CdTe absorber layers.

• University of Toledo with Xunlight: High-rate fabrication of a-Si-based thin-film solar cells using large-area VHF PECVD.

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To: BW who wrote (74)9/30/2011 4:06:54 PM
From: longnshort
1 Recommendation   of 1400

of 630024
Solyndra's multimillion-dollar white elephant

Alison Vekshin,Mark Chediak, Bloomberg News

Paul Sakuma / AP

The lavish Solyndra plant sits empty at its Fremont site along Interstate 880. The company spent millions in federal money to build the factory.

The glass-and-metal building that Solyndra LLC began erecting alongside Interstate 880 in Fremont in September 2009 was something the Silicon Valley area hadn't seen in years: a new factory.

It wasn't just any factory. When it was completed at an estimated cost of $733 million, including proceeds from a $528 million federal loan guarantee, it covered 300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields. It had robots that whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the water temperature, and glass-walled conference rooms.

"The new building is like the Taj Mahal," John Pierce, a San Jose resident who worked as a facilities manager at Solyndra, said.

The building, designed to make far more solar panels than Solyndra got orders for, is now shuttered, and taxpayers may be stuck with it. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 5, leaving in its wake investigations by Congress and the FBI and a Republican-fueled political embarrassment for the Obama administration, which issued the loan guarantee. About 1,100 workers lost their jobs.

Amid the still-unfolding postmortems, the factory stands as emblematic of money misspent and the "Field of Dreams" ethos that seemed to drive the venture, said Ramesh Misra, a solar-industry analyst in Los Angeles for Brigantine Advisors.

"When you don't have the demand, you can't go into something with the attitude, 'Build it and they will come,' " Misra said. "You have to make sure the customers are already there when you build it."

'Backlog' in question He is skeptical of the company's statement, in a press release on the groundbreaking for the plant, that it had a backlog of $2 billion in orders for its cylindrical solar modules for commercial rooftops, which it touted as cheaper to install and more efficient than competing flat panels. "Backlog" is a term sometimes used loosely in the industry and may not represent firm orders at all, he said.

David Miller, a Solyndra spokesman, did not respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

Solyndra was the dream of founder Chris Gronet, who received a doctorate in semiconductor processing at Stanford University and had spent 11 years as an executive at Applied Materials Inc. Gronet didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the 2009 groundbreaking for the plant. At the event, Chu said the U.S. solar-energy industry was losing out to countries like China and that the loan guarantee, the first awarded by the department under President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus plan, would ensure the company's orders would be filled by U.S. workers.

Even as Chu, Gronet and Schwarzenegger were thrusting their shovels into the dirt, market forces were working against Solyndra. The price of polysilicon, the main ingredient in traditional solar panels, had plunged. By the time the plant opened in January, the price would be down about 40 percent from when Solyndra got the loan guarantee. Chinese companies were increasing production of their ever-cheaper competing flat panels.

Solyndra executives rushed construction in a race to fill orders, putting some work on a 24-hour, seven-day schedule. The factory was up and ready for equipment installation in 10 months. The project employed more than 3,000 union construction workers, according to a Solyndra background sheet.

"They were anticipating large production," Juancho Suntay, a former Solyndra equipment maintenance technician, said. "That's why they wanted to have a state-of-the-art factory."

The plant features 19 loading docks, four electric car charging stations in the parking lot and landscaping of wild grass and a rock garden. An automated rail system moved parts through the assembly process.

Robots that resembled "a big freezer with wheels" maneuvered around the factory transporting panels from one machine to another, said George Garma, a former Solyndra equipment maintenance technician from Fremont. The Disney tunes alerted workers to the robots' presence.

"It was first class," said David Chan, who was an information-technology contractor for Solyndra. "I've been in the business for 25 years and have seen some elaborate buildings. I've never seen a facility like it."

Commercial real estate agents in the region wondered why a new factory was being built in the region, the epicenter of some of the priciest real estate in the country, where most new construction consists of office space.

Empty spaces "There hasn't been a factory or warehouse building built in Silicon Valley in well over 10 years," Jeff Fredericks, managing partner at Colliers International in San Jose, said in an e-mail.

The asking rate for industrial properties in Silicon Valley is the fourth-most expensive in the country, according to Jack DePuy, Bay Area research manager at CB Richard Ellis in Foster City.

About 11.4 percent, or 950,801 square feet, of industrial space was vacant in Fremont in September 2009, according to data from Colliers.

"There was available space that we talked about with them," Bob Wasserman, Fremont's mayor, said in an interview. "It was their decision that they needed a new building. Was that a good decision? It didn't turn out to be."

Read more:[/url]

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To: BW who wrote (74)9/30/2011 4:07:45 PM
From: longnshort
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Chu takes responsibility for a loan deal that put more taxpayer money at risk in Solyndra

View Photo Gallery — ?Solyndra, a California solar company backed by a half-billion dollars in loan guarantees from the Obama administration, announced it was shutting its doors and laying off 1,100 employees.

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By Carol D. Leonnig and and Joe Stephens, Published: September 29
Energy Secretary Steven Chu acknowledged Thursday making the final decision to allow a struggling solar company to continue receiving taxpayer money after it had technically defaulted on a $535 million federal loan guaranteed by his agency.

Chu spokesman Damien La­Vera said in a statement that the secretary approved the restructuring agreement for Solyndra because it gave the company “the best possible chance to succeed in a very competitive marketplace and put the company in a better position to repay the loan.”



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  • Corrections?



    Executives from Solyndra, a failed California solar panel company, come to Washington to testify on how the firm went bankrupt despite a $535 million federal loan guarantee. They are expected to invoke their right against self incrimination. (Sept. 23)


    The collapse of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra raises new questions about President Obama's push for alternative energy — and whether White House pressure played a role in a loan guarantee that has taxpayers on the hook for millions. (Sept. 16)

    More on this Story

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  • Energy Dept. learned of Solyndra default in 2010
  • Top Solyndra officials take the Fifth
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  • Also Thursday, a law enforcement official confirmed that the criminal probe of Solyndra is focused on whether the company and its officers misrepresented the firm’s finances to the government in seeking the loan or engaged in accounting fraud. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe.

    On the political front, Chu’s admission came as some members of Congress were asking whether Chu went too far in trying to help the company before it went into bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the loan.

    Chu, a Nobel laureate and physicist who came to the administration from academia, arrived in Washington with a mandate to push billions of dollars in stimulus funds into clean-energy companies and projects. With keen White House interest, Chu rode herd over an $80 billion showcase initiative that was supposed to spur a new “green” industry and economic growth.

    Solyndra was the first company approved for a loan guarantee under the Obama administration; its application originated several years earlier during George W. Bush’s presidency. Early on, there were concerns about Solyndra’s finances, but the company was still endorsed by President Obama and received high-profile support from Chu. Both visited the firm at different press events. Chu flew to California to announce the loan approval at the groundbreaking for a $750 million factory that was built mostly with funds from the loan.

    In announcing the Solyndra deal in March 2009, Chu boasted of the “speed at which the department can operate,” according to an agency news release.

    “Secretary Chu initially set a target to have the first conditional commitments out by May .?.?. but today’s announcement significantly outpaces that aggressive timeline,” the release said.

    In April 2010, the company’s auditors raised doubts about whether the company could continue as a “going concern” because of cash-flow problems. The following month, Obama visited the company to praise it as an “engine of growth.”

    In late autumn of 2010, company executives confided to the Energy Department that they were running out of cash and could not make a required payment to a cash-reserve account. The company was supposed to begin making the first of $5 million payments to create a $30 million cash reserve on Dec. 1.

    Solyndra officially defaulted on its loan that day. Chu approved a softening of the loan requirements so that the company could continue receiving loan installments.

    “Ultimately, the choice was between imminent liquidation or giving the company and its workers a fighting chance to succeed,” LaVera said in the statement, firs

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    To: joseffy who wrote (76)9/30/2011 4:08:26 PM
    From: BW
       of 1400
    Ad hominem to start josephy? Or attack the messenger as you also say.

    Please show facts that will contradict anything I have posted.

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