Friday, October 14, 2011

Could Solyndra Be Only the Tip of the Iceberg?

With yesterday's resignation of Solyndra's CEO, Brian Harrison, and discussions about other "green" loans, Congress is looking at the recipients of all of this money.

The company, SunPower, received its $1.2 billion loan guarantee in September, immediately before the program’s deadline. SunPower also carries $820 million in debt, which is $20 million more than its market capitalization. In short, it looks like the American taxpayer may get stuck with another huge loan to pay.

Take a look at the government's own press release on the loan.

April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Washington D.C. --- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, sponsored by SunPower Corporation. The project, which is being built in San Luis Obispo County, CA, includes the construction of a 250 megawatt alternating current photovoltaic (PV) solar generating facility and associated infrastructure. California Valley Solar Ranch is expected to create 350 jobs during construction and 10-15 permanent jobs. The project is also expected to avoid over 430,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and produce enough to power for nearly 60,000 homes.

Another interesting story is Tonopah Solar Energy, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, which started building Crescent Dunes, a massive solar-thermal plant in the Nevada desert in early September.

One of SolarReserve’s major financial backers is the PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East), whose second-in-command is Ronald Pelosi, the brother of the House Minority leader’s husband, Paul. Another investor is Argonaut Private Equity, a company that lost heavily in the Solyndra debacle.

As each day passes, more and more scandals are coming to light.

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