DOE loan recipient – Abound Solar – files for bankruptcy
A Colorado-based solar panel maker that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy has filed for bankruptcy. Abound Solar is reported to have drawn $70 million of the $400 million loan. Now, as it closes its doors and lays off some 125 employees, the American taxpayer will likely be on the hook for between $40 – $60 million in loses.
Abound was having financial troubles in late 2011 – a result of rapidly falling solar panel prices and “aggressive pricing actions from Chinese solar-panel companies.” At that time, the company laid off 180 full-time employees and 100 part-time employees, and put on hold plans to build a new facility in February 2012.
Reports indicate the company was developing a thin-film solar technology, similar to that being developed by the now infamous Solyndra, and was “caught in the middle” of hurriedly tightened oversight processes aimed at reducing waste and fraud in the loan program.
Congressional representatives are questioning why the green energy loan programs are continuing to fund these companies in the face of so many bankruptcies.