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Several Of Fox's "Failed" Green Projects Are Successes
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Abound Solar borrowed about $70 million against a $400 million loan guarantee from the 1705 program, costing the government about $60 million when it filed for bankruptcy. mediamatters.org
Beacon Power used a $39.5 million loan guarantee from the 1705 program before going bankrupt. Its bankruptcy cost the government about $9 million as it found a buyer and it is still operating its energy storage facility after rehiring most of its employees. news.cnet.com Flywheel grid storage company Beacon Power has been acquired for $30.5 million in a transaction that will return about 70 percent of a government loan. Read this article by Martin LaMonica on CNET News.
Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the 1705 loan guarantee program before going bankrupt. mediamatters.org
Nevada Geothermal Power received a 1705 loan guarantee for about $79 million. The company recently renamed itself Alternative Earth Resources and sold its Nevada geothermal plant. www.alternative-earth.com
Evergreen Solar received tax breaks from the Massachusetts state government before filing for bankruptcy. It did not receive any federal money. mediamatters.org
Ener1 received a $118.5 million stimulus grant. It filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, but emerged from bankruptcy a few months later. www.insideindianabusiness.com
SunPower holds the world record in efficiency for solar panels, and recently beat its own record. The company is expected to have positive earnings per share this year. SunPower built the California Valley Solar Ranch, which was bought by NRG Energy before receiving a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the 1705 program. There is almost no risk of default on this loan. www.pv-tech.org
Fox News itself recently called Tesla a "success story." Tesla turned a profit in the first quarter of 2013 and has seen its award-winning Model S exceed sales goals. Tesla Motors received a $465 million loan guarantee from the ATVM program. The company plans on paying back the loan five years early. mediamatters.org
A123, an electric car battery maker, used about $132 million of a $249 million federal grant before filing for bankruptcy. The company sold most of its assets to a Chinese company. www.bloomberg.com The bankrupt electric-car battery maker formerly called A123 Systems Inc., now renamed B456 Systems Inc., reached a settlement in which Fisker Automotive Inc. reduced its claims by 89 percent to $15 million.
Babcock & Brown, an Australian company, was given $178 million under the 1603 stimulus program in order to build the Texas Gulf Wind farm, according to the Investigative Reporting Workshop. The company went bankrupt, and sold the farm to Pattern Energy Group, a Texas-based renewable energy company. www.pehub.com Pattern Energy Buys Wind Farm from Babcock & Brown
Fisker, an electric carmaker, received $192 million of a $529 million conditional loan guarantee before the DOE froze the loan after the company missed deadlines that were part of the loan agreement. Fisker has cut staff and is reportedly considering bankruptcy. www.csmonitor.com Fisker Automotive will lay off most of its staff, according to various media reports. Fisker faces an April 22 deadline for its next payment to the U.S. Department of Energy, but the company has virtually no income from ongoing operations because it hasn't built a single Karma electric car since last summer.
Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits for a Las Vegas solar manufacturing plant that it subsequently closed. The company had received $15.6 million grant under the Bush administration in 2007 for research and development. Amonix holds the world record for efficiency for concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) outdoor modules, and has instituted several low-cost and low-water use practices. The company recently teamed up with Solar Junction to try to produce a lower cost CPV system. cleantechnica.com The solar power industry just got a little more interesting this week, with the announcement that Solar Junction and Amonix have signed an agreement to work together on the next generation of low cost, ultra-high efficiency concentrated photovoltaic systems. If you're expecting another long slog through the R&D phase, guess again. According to Amonix CEO
First Solar is the world's number one PV installer -- beating out several top Chinese companies in rankings by IMS Research and Wiki-Solar. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently confirmed that First Solar had made a big leap in CdTe solar cell efficiency, giving it the world record. First Solar's projects have received about $3 billion from the 1705 loan guarantee program, and it has sold those projects to other companies. There is almost no risk of default on these loans. www.pv-magazine.com In its 2012 EPC rankings, IMS Research has found that First Solar became the world’s biggest, in terms of MW completed. First Solar completed more than 500 MW of projects last year, the report has found. IMS Research is now a part of IHS.
SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PV Technology Pre-Incubator program before filing for bankruptcy. abcnews.go.com President Obama's Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy -- but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a government-owned research center that was expanded under the stimulus. A study by the University of Colorado-Boulder in March 2013 found that the center supported 2,300 jobs in 2012, and had a net economic benefit to Colorado of $814.8 billion. The NREL has spurred several successes that have helped make clean energy more efficient and affordable, including demonstrating the merit of multi-junction solar cells, which are cheaper and use less precious electronic materials. www.nrel.gov
GM's Volt, a plug-in electric car, has experienced increased sales despite misleading attacks on the car from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. In 2012 it sold nearly three times as many Volts as it did in 2011. And in March 2013 it sold nearly 3 times as many cars as it did in March 2012. GM received various grants and tax credits for programs related the Volt over the years. People who purchase electric cars also receive a $7,500 federal tax credit -- a program started under the Bush administration. www.forbes.com It may be way too early to write off the Chevrolet Volt despite the fact that General Motors decided to stop making the plug-in hybrid model for five weeks and won't start up again until April 23. Exhibit No. 1 in this argument: today's sales results for March, which showed Volt [...]