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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Solar Energy Company Goes Bankrupt-- After $3 Million DOE Grant



Green stimulus in action...

Satcon Technology Corporation filed for Chapter 11-- after pocketing $3 million from taxpayers.

From The Foundry article by Lachlan Markay:

"A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.

"Satcon Technology Corp. announced the decision in a Wednesday news release. 'This has been a difficult time for Satcon,' president and CEO Steve Rhoades said. 'After careful consideration of available alternatives, the Company’s Board of Directors determined that the Chapter 11 filings were a necessary and prudent step, allowing the Company to continue to operate while giving us the opportunity to reorganize with a stronger balance sheet and capital structure.'

"Satcon received a $3 million DOE grant in January to develop 'a compact, lightweight power conversion device that is capable of taking utility-scale solar power and outputting it directly into the electric utility grid at distribution voltage levels—eliminating the need for large transformers.'

"'If successful,” noted DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) at the time, 'Satcon would simplify the solar power conversion process and significantly reduce the cost of operating, installing, and siting a PV power system—helping to facilitate their widespread use.'

"ARPA-E also stated that the grant 'could create jobs for system installers, technicians, and salespeople.'

"Satcon has also received smaller federal payments for various solar initiatives at DOE. The company manufactures power conversion devices for solar energy, though it does not manufacture the solar panels themselves."

Not exactly the performance of a company ready to provide good jobs for lots and lots of people.

And here's a nice list of faltering and bankrupt green energy companies provided by Ashe Schow:

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
  1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($69 million)*
  5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
  6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  7. SunPower ($1.5 billion)
  8. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  11. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
  13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
  14. Abound Solar ($374 million)*
  15. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
  17. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  18. Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  20. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  21. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  25. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
  27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
  29. UniSolar ($100 million)*
  30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
  31. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  32. Vestas ($50 million)
  33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Chemical Power ($150 million)
  34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  35. Navistar ($10 million)
  36. Satcon ($3 million)*
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

What a colossal waste...

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