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Another Green Company Supported by Taxpayer Funds Goes Bankrupt

Satcon Technology Corp, yet another solar company that was given a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy is going down in flames. When Satcon announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it became the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.

“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.”

This past January, Satcon received a $3 million DOE grant 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.”

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

The extent of the failure of President Obama’s green initiative has been largely ignored by the press. But the government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. The rate of failure and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not in financial trouble does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.

So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers have either gone bankrupt or are laying off workers and are heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

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 Compact Power ($150 million)
  34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  35. Navistar ($10 million)
  36. Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

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