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Abound Solar latest clean energy loan guarantee recipient to announce bankruptcy

By Doug Powers  •  June 28, 2012 07:09 PM

**Written by Doug Powers


Today there was another bankruptcy announcement that comes as no surprise to anyone with the possible exception of the people who put taxpayers on the hook for the loan:

Abound Solar Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, will suspend operations and file for bankruptcy because its panels were too expensive to compete.

Abound borrowed about $70 million against the guarantee, the Loveland, Colorado-based company said today in a statement. It plans to file for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Delaware, next week.
U.S. taxpayers may lose $40 million to $60 million on the loan after Abound’s assets are sold and the bankruptcy proceeding closes, Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, said in a statement today.

Previously the company was forced to lay off a large percentage of its work force. Naturally there’s also a connection to an Obama bundler, which almost goes without saying.

This loan, like most, was pitched with the promise of thousands of high paying, long lasting jobs:

Back in 2010, President Obama promised America in his weekly radio address that Abound would “manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu waves his green pom-poms, too. “Not only is this investment creating thousands of jobs, but it is also increasing our renewable energy manufacturing capacity and putting us on the path for our future prosperity.”

Following the latest strikeout, who’s up next in the on-deck circle?

A123 Systems, a manufacturer of batteries for electric cars, received a $249 million grant from the Energy Department but has laid off some workers and acknowledges that it faces serious challenges.

Former Michigan Governor and current Current host Jennifer Granholm dubbed A123 a “stimulus success story.”

If Solyndra, Abound and A123 are success stories, I don’t even want to know how much a failure costs.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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