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BUSINESS
December 16, 2008 | FROM TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., which makes materials used in solar power technology, plans to spend more than $2.2 billion to build a plant in Tennessee and expand operations in Michigan. The new plant in Clarksville, Tenn., carries an initial investment of $1.2 billion, though state officials project the total cost could reach $2.5 billion. The expansion at the company's existing facility in Hemlock, Mich., is projected to cost as much as $1 billion.
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NATIONAL
September 26, 2011 | By Tom Hamburger, Kim Geiger and Matea Gold, Washington Bureau
Long before the politically connected California solar firm Solyndra went bankrupt, President Obama was warned by his top economic advisors about the financial and political risks of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that boosted the company's rapid ascent. At a White House meeting in late October, Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, and Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, expressed concerns that the selection process for federal loan guarantees wasn't rigorous enough and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong companies, including ones that didn't need the help.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2006 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Oil giant BP pledged $5 million Tuesday to fund a five-year solar project at Caltech that would explore using tiny silicon rods to make solar cells absorb sunlight more efficiently. The research supplements a smaller collaboration between BP and Caltech that focuses on improving existing solar technology, said Jean Posbic, director of product development at BP Solar. "With this agreement, we're looking even further into the future, about five to 10 years out," he said.
BUSINESS
February 7, 1995 | Jack Searles
Camarillo-based Siemens Solar Industries says its ProCharger 4JF solar module has met safety, reliability and performance requirements of Underwriter's Laboratories. The module has also been approved by the Commission of the European Communities, Siemens said. ProCharger is used in both consumer and industrial applications in converting solar energy to electrical power. According to Siemens, the module performed well when subjected to 6,000 volts in the European testing.
BUSINESS
January 11, 2007 | From Reuters
Ted Turner, the cable television billionaire and owner of vast tracts of land in the West, is forming a venture with a solar energy company targeting California markets. "Our future depends on changing the way we use energy," Turner said. "We've got to move away from fossil fuels and develop long-term energy solutions that work. Using clean energy technologies, such as solar power, is the right thing to do, and it represents a tremendous business opportunity."
NEWS
February 10, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
An independent audit of the federal loan guarantee initiatives that backed the troubled solar technology company Solyndra failed to turn up the waste and broad incompetence that critics assert riddled the programs. But the audit showed the laws passed from 2005 to 2009 that established the programs in question at the Energy Department had few provisions for thorough monitoring and oversight of the loan guarantees once they were approved. One program created in 2007 did not “provide any requirements regarding governance and monitoring of loans after closing.” “Neither the statutes nor the regulations governing the programs specify internal or external oversight or reporting requirements,”  the report concluded.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2012 | By Don Lee and Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Ratcheting up the battle over a vital energy industry, the U.S. Commerce Department decided to impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that manufacturers there received illegal government subsidies. The Commerce Department, in its preliminary finding over illegal subsidies, said solar panels imported from China — now dominating the U.S. market — would face a duty of 2.9% to 4.73%. The tariff is considerably smaller than what some had hoped for but nonetheless marks another step by the Obama administration to get tougher on trade with China.
BUSINESS
April 2, 1985 | By JAMES QUINN, Times Staff Writer
When J. W. (Bill) Yerkes resigned abruptly from Arco Solar Inc. in January to start his own company using a new solar technology, the fledgling photovoltaic industry buzzed like an aging transformer. Yerkes, 51, was already widely known as an individualist who had combined the presidency of the Chatsworth-based photovoltaic company, a subsidiary of oil giant Atlantic Richfield Co., with a life style faintly reminiscent of the 1960s counterculture.
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