Another subsidized solar power company going bust?

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Your tax dollars at work! The U.S.’s largest solar power company, heavily subsidized by the federal government, now faces bankruptcy.

An SEC filing from TerraForm Global, a unit of SunEdison, claims “due to SunEdison’s liquidity difficulties, there is a substantial risk that SunEdison will soon seek bankruptcy protection.” Both SunEdison and TerraForm are delaying the filing of their annual financial report to the SEC.

News of SunEdison’s impending bankruptcy filing comes after the company’s shares fell 95 percent in the past 12 months, with shares now trading for less than $1 for the first time since the green energy company went public in 1995. SunEdison’s market value fell from $10 billion in July 2015 to around $400 million today.

The news also comes after the SEC announced it was launching an investigation into SunEdison’s disclosures to shareholders regarding the company’s liquidity. SEC enforcement officials “are looking into whether SunEdison overstated its liquidity last fall when it told investors it had more than $1 billion in cash,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

…The pro-labor union group Good Jobs First reported last year that SunEdison and its subsidiaries got nearly $650 million in subsidies and tax credits from the federal government since 2000. It was the 13th most heavily-subsidized company in America. This includes nearly $4.6 million in subsidies from the Department of Energy and Department of Treasury. reported in October 2015 that SunEdison had gotten nearly $4.6 million from the Obama administration, including funding to build semi-conductors. A SunEdison bankruptcy could leave taxpayers on the hook for more than $2 billion.

But hey, what’s a few billion here or there, if the cause is worthwhile?


  • Garry

    “ reported in October 2015 that SunEdison had gotten nearly $4.6 million from the Obama administration, including funding to build semi-conductors.”

    Should this read “4.6 billion”?

  • That $4.6 million appears to be only a part of the company’s total subsidies, many of which were handed out before Obama was in office. The crony corruption here is not limited to one party or president.

  • Wayne

    Echo what Mr. Z said. These people are among the original “green” crop of crony’s to get on board the gravy train way back in 1995.
    Beyond direct cash subsidies, the Feds are into these people for a variety of loan-guarantees & backstops.
    This is reminiscent of a regional “super-duper battery” Company funded by $200 million in “stimulus” cash. (Allegan County, Michigan.) They built the plant & equipped if with machinery, blew through the cash, only to go bankrupt within 18 months. Last I had heard, the Chinese bought it for 20 cents on the dollar & the executives all had golden-parachute type employment agreements. POOF, went $200 million….
    (This was one of those “saved or created 125 jobs,” type lies they once told us.)

  • Garry

    I understand; I just saw $4.6 million and to me that seemed very low for this kind of thing (although $4.60 would be too much), and thought perhaps it was a typo.

    Now I read more carefully, I see that this represents a small part of the total, $650 million, which of course means that the part couldn’t be $4.6 billion.

    When Trump talks about eliminating “fraud, waste, and abuse,” I wish he would be more specific, and this would be a good place to start.

    And absolutely, this is a bipartisan problem.

  • hondo

    A fire sale is in order – I could make good use of a few panels.

  • NormD

    “The world’s largest U.S. solar power company” seems sorta convoluted.

  • You are right. Sometimes my brain does not communicate with my fingers very well. I have corrected the wording.

  • Orion314

    Considering that waste / graft/ GREED /and flat out corruption our federal gummint bestows upon us mere serfs, if the feds are involved in any project that produces anything of value at all , THAT IS PROGRESS, no matter how accidental…would that the SSI program make such progress….and so it goes….

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