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Solyndra Files for Chapter 11

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FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 1, 2011 — Solyndra LLC, a manufacturer of rooftop solar panels, has suspended manufacturing operations and intends to file a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Approximately 1100 full-time and temporary employees are being laid off effective immediately.

Solyndra opened in 2005, and in 2009, it became the first recipient of President Obama’s Department of Energy’s Loan Program guarantee of $535 million, which was meant to help minimize the risk to venture capital firms that were financing the company.

The DoE released a statement Wednesday blaming the changing economics in the industry and the increasingly intense competition from Chinese manufacturers who benefit from interest-free government financing — driving down solar cell prices.

“The price for solar cells has fallen 42 percent since the beginning of the year — even as European countries, currently the largest market for solar panels, are facing economic turmoil and have greatly reduced subsidies for solar power,” said the DoE. “The changing economics have affected a number of solar manufacturers in recent months, including, unfortunately, Solyndra, a once very promising company that has increased its sales revenue by 2000 percent in three years and sold more than 1000 installations in 20 countries. As a result, Solyndra now plans to suspend its manufacturing operations and file for bankruptcy protection.”

The statement went on to say that the loan guarantee was pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations and that private sector investors, who put more than $1 billion of their own money on the line, also saw great potential in the company.

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In 2008, Solydra won a Prism Award in the Sustainable/Green Technology category for their “Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System.” (See: Prism Award Winners Unveiled)
Sep 2011
AmericasBankruptcy CodeBusinessCaliforniaChapter 11Chinese solar manufacturersDepartment of Energys Loan ProgramDOEenergygreen photonicsindustrialPresident BushPresident ObamaPVrooftop solar panelssolar cellsSolyndra

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