Solar company Solyndra declares bankruptcy

By Laurie Bennett

September 1, 2011 at 11:55am

Solyndra, a startup company that makes solar panels, is filing for bankruptcy.

This is especially newsworthy because the firm is under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee for having received a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009 from the Department of Energy.

The guarantee drew attention not only because of its speedy approval, but because one of the prime investors was a bundler for the 2008 Obama campaign, billionaire George B. Kaiser.

Obama visited Solyndra’s plant in Fremont, CA, last year, proclaiming it an “engine of economic growth.”

ABC and the Center for Public Integrity have been scrutinizing the deal for months.

The bankruptcy, resulting in the loss of more than 1,100 full- and part-time jobs, will certainly cast a harsh light not only on the company’s ties to the Obama White House, but the prospects for the solar industry in general.

As Reuters notes, this is the third bankruptcy filing in a month by solar startups.

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