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November 9, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
California is on track to meet an ambitious goal of putting solar panels on up to 3 million Golden State homes by 2016, according to a new report by an environmental group. The $3.3-billion initiative, which provides subsidies to homeowners, has spurred the installation of 800 megawatts of rooftop panels over the last five years. That's the energy equivalent of two gas-burning power plants. With the prices of photovoltaic panels plummeting, California's installations are expected to triple over the next five years, helping the state reach its goal of 3,000 megawatts of rooftop solar by 2016.
November 17, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
Energy Secretary Steven Chu firmly pushed back against Republican allegations that political favoritism and bureaucratic incompetence led his agency to approve a $535-million loan guarantee to Solyndra, in a much-anticipated appearance by the highest level Obama administration member so far before congressional investigators looking into the failed solar equipment maker. A Nobel-prize-winning physicist and Washington outsider, Chu remained as unflappable as any seasoned Washington politico while parrying often-repetitive questions for more than four hours from the oversight subcommittee of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.  During his testimony, Chu made clear that he had little hope of recovering most of the money backed by the Energy Department's guarantee.  Republicans have insisted that Solyndra received more than half a billion in federal loan guarantees because its biggest investors are backed by a major Obama campaign donor, George Kaiser.
September 12, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee
Bankruptcy. FBI raids. General ignominy. For the benighted solar energy company and stimulus loan recipient, Solyndra, the next stop in its vale of tears will be a hearing this Wednesday in Washington held by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. For the Record, 12:46 p.m. Sept. 12: An earlier version of this online article stated that Solyndra got a $535-billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department in 2010. The correct number is $535 million, as was also mentioned in the article.
February 23, 2012 | By David Colker
Remember Solyndra, the solar panel maker that got $535-million government loan guarantees, only to file for bankruptcy less than two years later?    Well, some of its remaining employees could get bonuses of up to $30,000 apiece, even though the company is being liquidated. The judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings has OK'd paying a total of nearly $370,000 in bonuses if certain landmarks are reached, including the timely auction of some Solyndra assets, according to a Bloomberg News report.
May 31, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
FREMONT, Calif. - Mitt Romney made a secretive trip to the shuttered headquarters of the Solyndra solar-energy company, arguing it was a symbol of “crony capitalism” that received federal loan guarantees because of its ties to the Obama administration, and asserting that it showed the president's lack of understanding of how the economy works. “It's a symbol not of success but of failure. It's also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest,” Romney told reporters across the street from the glass building, reiterating a Republican charge that the firm received a $535-million federal loan guarantee because one of its largest investors is a major fundraiser for Obama.
September 14, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Executives of beleaguered solar equipment maker Solyndra Inc. canceled their Wednesday appearance before a congressional investigative committee at the last minute, citing the demands of a complicated bankruptcy and a federal investigation they face. Solyndra got a $535-million loan as part of the U.S. stimulus package in late 2009 and was held up by the Obama administration as a powerful example of the kind of innovative manufacturing that would revive the economy. But in the last few weeks, the Fremont, Calif., company has closed shop, laid off most of its 1,100 workers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and had its offices and executives' homes raided by the FBI. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear testimony from administration officials about the government's loans to Solyndra.
September 15, 2011 | Jim Puzzanghera and Stuart Pfeifer
The Obama administration ignored "red flags" about failed Northern California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, rushing through a $535-million loan guarantee for the company in 2009 and improperly restructuring the deal last winter in a failed attempt to boost the economy and the green energy industry, House Republicans said. A House Energy subcommittee released internal administration documents Wednesday showing a push to finish work on the loan package in mid-2009 so that Vice President Joe Biden could announce it. And lawmakers spent four hours grilling two administration officials about the decision to risk so much taxpayer money on Solyndra's uncertain technology.
September 4, 2009 | Associated Press
A Fremont, Calif., company that makes solar panels will receive a $535-million federal loan guarantee, allowing it to finish the first phase of construction of a factory, a government official said. The loan guarantee for Solyndra Inc. is to be made by the Energy Department as part of the $787-billion economic stimulus package. The expansion is expected to create as many as 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 long-term jobs. The news is welcome for Fremont, a Bay Area city of 215,000 that was stung recently when Toyota Motor Corp.
September 10, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers at a House Oversight Committee hearing Tuesday accused Obama administration officials of attempting to bypass transparency and record-keeping laws by using personal email accounts and email aliases to conduct official government business. Several officials, including former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, testified that they were following standard agency practices or had made errors based on a lack of training in records retention.
March 7, 2012 | Marla Dickerson
Green energy may be losing momentum inside the Beltway. But officials in the heart of Silicon Valley are betting on the sun. This week, the Palo Alto City Council approved a plan to buy clean power from local utility customers who install solar panels on their roofs. That's right. The power company will pay them, not the other way around. The arrangement - known by the clunky name “feed-in tariff” - is still a rarity in the United States. But Palo Alto officials want to help pioneer the effort.
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