"Financial sustainability wasn't something we were required to review," said Solich, who said she toured the company in June and admitted being impressed by the high-tech robotic forklifts and other advanced machinery.
By the time it had folded, she said, Solyndra had redeemed about $25 million of the tax exemptions.
Wisconsin, too, got into the act. Last October, it served up a $3.75-million, zero-interest loan to MGS Manufacturing Group, which made plastic harnesses for Solyndra's modules. The loan was contingent on MGS creating 168 full-time jobs based on sales to Solyndra.
"It'll be difficult for us to have the number of people that were forecast" with
Solyndra out of business, said John Berg, marketing director for MGS Manufacturing.
Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Energy Department, argued that the government made a measured decision, one based on the tremendous potential of the Solyndra technology. The PriceWaterhouse warning, for example, he dismissed as "precisely the kind of review that would be typical of a high-tech startup company."
"Solyndra appeared to be well-positioned to compete and succeed in the global marketplace," said LaVera, whose agency ultimately turned Solyndra down for a second loan guarantee, worth $469 million.