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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Millions More Down The Drain As Another Obama Solar Company Files For Bankruptcy

By Susan Duclos

The AP, via Washington Post reports on another Obama backed Solar company filing for bankruptcy.

A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

Solar Trust of America’s Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.

The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.

Fox Nations asks if taxpayers just lost $2 billion. Power Line explains that Obama didn't flush $2 billion down the drain but his administration offered up a $2.1 billion guarantee, it was Solar Trust who turned it down because it was too risky.

The collapse of the “green” energy industry continued today, as Solar Trust of America LLC filed for bankruptcy. Solar Trust was, it claimed, carrying out the world’s largest solar energy project in California. Two things make Solar Trust’s bankruptcy especially newsworthy: first, Barack Obama’s Department of Energy offered the company a $2.1 billion loan guarantee just last year. Fortunately, Solar Trust turned it down:

As solar companies and renewable energy companies start lose money, fail and/or file for bankruptcy, including companies like Solyndra, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, Evergreen Solar Inc and SpectraWatt, it behooves Americans to take a look at the Obama administration's backing by way of loan guarantees or grants of other solar based, green and renewable energy companies.

The Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office lists the companies that were given loan guarantees and the total dollar amounts of said guarantees and/or partial guarantees. Not on that page is other companies which received millions in U.S. grants and have also failed, reporting losses, or are in trouble.

Among those listed on that page, and the grants not listed, a number of them have filed for bankruptcy, reported losses, or have been forced to lay off workers due to financial troubles:

Abound Solar received approval in 2010 for a $400 million government loan. In February 2012 Abound Solar was forced to lay off 180 of its 400 workers. (Source- ABC News)

Electric car start-up Fisker Automotive announced it was being forced to halt production at its Delaware facility and lay off several dozen workers. In November, the company developing batteries for Fisker announced the temporary layoff of 125 employees. A123 Systems had received a $249 million Department of Energy stimulus grant. (Source- ABC News)

Beacon Power Corporation, loan guarantee amount $43 million. Reported by Bloomberg on October 31, 2011, filed for bankruptcy.

Ener1, based in New York, makes lithium-ion batteries for plug-in electric cars, received a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy papers in January 2012. Ener1’s EnerDel unit, based in Indianapolis, was the grant recipient and has received about $55 million of its grant so far. (Source- Bloomberg)

Nevada Geothermal, a loan guarantee of $79 million plus at least $66 million in grants, back in October 2011, was reported to be struggling financially and it's own auditor concluded in a filing released the week before the story broke, that there was "significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern." (Source- New York Times)

NRG Energy, loan guarantee of $1.237 billion, reported a loss of $109 million compared with a year-earlier loss of $15 million. (Source- MarketWatch)

Solyndra, Inc., loan guarantee amount $535 million. September 2011 filed for bankruptcy. The loan guarantee is still subject to congressional investigation.

Other failed "green" Obama programs include Volt and Leaf.... more on that over at IBD.

Note- Many loans listed by the DOE didn't occur until mid to late 2011 so there is no way of knowing how many of those will succeed, fail or be forced to file bankruptcy.