Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn’t the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.
At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.
Evergreen Solar Inc., indirectly received $5.3 million through a state grant to open a $450 million facility in 2007 that employed roughly 800 people. SpectraWatt, based in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., is also a solar cell company that was spun out of Intel in 2008. In June 2009, SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the stimulus package. Mountain Plaza and Olsen’s Crop Service/Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Co. have also failed despite 2 million and 10 million respectively to increase employment and add equipment and machinery.
“Solar panels have been subsidized by the federal government. States’ governments are also subsidizing or giving taxpayers write-off on their tax return. And yet, these solar panels cannot make it in the competitive world without all these subsidies. And even with them, China is flooding the market with this cheap labor and the solar panels just don’t make sense,” House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns R-Fla., told Fox News.