Another subsidized solar company lays off most of its employees

posted at 7:17 pm on January 17, 2012 by Tina Korbe

With barely a mention of Solyndra or other White House scandals at last night’s debate, it’s easy to see why the president assumed he’d be able to practice crony capitalism unchecked by the media or even his GOP rivals — and practice it he has. The federal government hasn’t been the only governmental entity to stuff money in the pipe dream of affordable and efficient solar energy, though.  Today brings news of an Ohio-state-government-subsidized solar company laying off most of its workforce:

Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC laid off about 40 people indefinitely at the beginning of January until changes to its production line are completed, a company official said Monday.

Michael Cicak, the company’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board, would not say when the changes would be completed or when the laid-off employees could return to work.

“We have some technical people in here improving the efficiency of the assembly line,” Mr. Cicak said, adding that the Perrysburg-based facility still has about 30 employees. …

The start-up company has been plagued by a series of production and staffing delays since it was formed in 2008. It has received millions of dollars in government loans and tax breaks and has been toured by high-profile officials such as Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Funding for research of any sort is tricky: Researchers need the freedom to fail and also the freedom to honestly report results. But what big fans of government-funded research forget is that the private sector has the incentive to fund research, too — and does. As has been oft-repeated, it’s not the government’s role to “pick winners and losers” or, more accurately, to willingly prop up losing enterprises.


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Steve Miller – Take the Money and Run

Roy Rogers on January 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Until they invent solar panels that work in the dark or windmills that work when there is no wind, those kinds of “alternative” energy will NEVER be a wise investment.

wildcat72 on January 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

What do you call fungus on a corpse? Green Jobs!

profitsbeard on January 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I guess they ran out of sunlight.

BDavis on January 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

When you the words “green energy” run the other way.

newportmike on January 17, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC laid off about 40 people indefinitely at the beginning of January until changes to its production line are completed, a company official said Monday.

I call B.S. They can’t compete with the Chi-coms because they control the majority of the materials needed to make panels. They can undercut any company operating in this country. Watch for this to quietly become permanent layoffs.

predator on January 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

The polar ice caps have been melting…. – Al Gore

GhoulAid on January 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

One-bama is sooooooooooooooo beatable.

NickDeringer on January 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Did they have time to make that contribution to Obama’s campaign?

Roy Rogers on January 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Since when do we give the Department of Energy billions of dollars with which to play venture capitalist? Sorry democrats, we don’t need career politicians, and academics playing Hedge-Fund heroes with taxpayer money. At least the guys on Wallstreet use their own or investor money…

Nozzle on January 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

“We have to do…uh…upgrades to the machinery. I’ll be at my new mansion if anyone needs me.”

-Company president

Bishop on January 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM

One-bama is sooooooooooooooo beatable.

NickDeringer on January 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Totally agree, think what might have been, a real conservative nominee. 2016?

Bmore on January 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Even if they did stay in business, it would only because they were able to milk enough from taxpayer subsidized purchases, mostly from Europe, which is of course also being propped up by American taxpayers.

Good riddance.

pedestrian on January 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

The greatest scam ever.Cook up global warming,get the media to spread fear,get the environuts screaming and crooked pols to back legislation to award tax dollars then file bankruptsy and wah la.

docflash on January 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Theft. Plain and simple.

RedNewEnglander on January 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Never have understood why anyone would attempt energy production with solar or wind, neither scales to the extent needed.

Both sources can be used as an ADJUNCT to an existing system, on a small scale. Such as a home. Anything else is wishful thinking.

irongrampa on January 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Taxpayer funded subsidies are the antithesis to the free market principle. If these ventures cannot convince investors to roll the dice with their concept, then their concept isn’t worth funding. The American taxpayers have been forced into these investments way too long. Can anyone cite an example of when a government subsidy resulted in a product that returned a profit to the investors?

TheBad on January 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Funding for research of any sort is tricky

This isn’t research. This is a solar panel production operation.

I have no problem with government sponsoring basic research in many instances. Specifically for basic research which may yield no commercial use, but has the potential to do so. Private industry would not risk shareholder money to build a super conducting super collider, for example. But the knowledge that we glean from such research may pave the way for whole industries (such as integrated circuits) to arise from what we learn. That is very different from the government giving money to Intel to manufacture ICs.

This is funding a favored business to advance a political agenda at taxpayer expense. If the company could manufacture solar panels profitably, the private sector would fund it. You know, venture capital companies like Bain which!

MJBrutus on January 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

With barely a mention of Solyndra or other White House scandals at last night’s debate,

I so totally predicted that to happen ..thank you Foxdolts, I ended up sober yesterday :(

burrata on January 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM

burrata on January 17, 2012 at 7:48 PM

you silly goose, there is nothing to worry about. Mitt Romney will nail Obama on all these things and more!

GhoulAid on January 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Apparently Obama likes to fire people too.

Wagthatdog on January 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Oh come on–the existence of a constitutional “right to privacy” and its implications for the legal status of contraception at the state level is so much more important than this non-issue of Green Jobs, and the one billion taxpayer dollars wasted invested in them!

/Stephanopoulos’d

MidniteRambler on January 17, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Another pie in the sky experiment! I can’t even get solar yard lights to work, LOL

OT, Levin on Hannity at 9PM EST.

bluefox on January 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM

It would seem that Obama’s cronies are “improving the efficiency” of their bank accounts..Maybe opening up a few new ones too

falsecast on January 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

In an Ivy League classroom somewhere…

… this business model is being taught as gospel.

The only reason that the business failed…

… is that the owners weren’t as smart as those fresh minds in the classroom.

/

Seven Percent Solution on January 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM

This guy may be onto something.

Oldnuke on January 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM

No comment from Lobotomy4life!

KOOLAID2 on January 17, 2012 at 8:06 PM

This guy may be onto something.

Oldnuke on January 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Pretty good, LOL

bluefox on January 17, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Did they have time to make that contribution to Obama’s campaign?

Roy Rogers on January 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

C’mon, this isn’t Solyndra after all.

chewmeister on January 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Mitt Romney will nail Obama on all these things and more!

GhoulAid on January 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Yup,
right after Micheal Savage makes out with Nasty Pelosi !!

burrata on January 17, 2012 at 9:07 PM

There has never been a solar panel, nor windmill that has ever generated the energy savings needed to ever recover the initial investment.

Enviroweenie dreams come true, skittle sh!tting unicorns riding the wind from a windmill over the solar panel equiped rainbow.

D-fusit on January 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

In other news….domestic oil is racist.

Tim_CA on January 17, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Mitt Romney will nail Obama on all these things and more!

GhoulAid on January 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Whoa. I thought Mitt supported federalism? Isn’t the message of Romneycare that Socialism is super cool when enacted by the states?

This is only a colossal waste of state money. I would think Mitt would support that sort of thing.

mankai on January 17, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Whoa here….lets just slow down a bit with all the crass remarks.

Doncha’ know….unemployment is the best kind of economic stimulus?

BobMbx on January 17, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Whoa here….lets just slow down a bit with all the crass remarks.

Doncha’ know….unemployment is the best kind of economic stimulus?

BobMbx on January 17, 2012 at 9:39 PM

There’s a new memo out, let me shuffle through all this and…Yeah, here it is.

Oldnuke on January 17, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Democrat+Sun == wealth

unclesmrgol on January 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM

It has no real connection, but every time something like this happens, it improves the odds for us little people fighting giant solar projects being developed near our homes.

The optics of solar are getting worse and worse, which means the optics in my rural valley have a better chance of staying beautiful.

I’m in Kern County, CA, which takes pride in being a renewable energy leader. Unfortunately, it is becoming a leader in ugliness, most famously for the Tehachapi windmills.

jodetoad on January 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

All the equipment will be sold in bankruptcy to the Chinese at 20 cents on the dollar of cost. They will hire workers at a fourth of the labor cost and sell the solar cells to us. Democrats will demand that we buy them and pay full price.

dunce on January 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Well, at least Obama hasn’t visited the plant and guaranteed failure…

redgypsy on January 18, 2012 at 5:07 AM

I’m in Kern County, CA, which takes pride in being a renewable energy leader.

jodetoad on January 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Renewable energy is a fantasy, it doesn’t exist.

Oldnuke on January 18, 2012 at 7:34 AM

I’m in Kern County, CA, which takes pride in being a renewable energy leader.

jodetoad on January 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I’m in Guilford County, NC, which takes pride in being a perpetual motion machine leader. We also lead the nation in unicorn farms and quality hip-hop artists.

mankai on January 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Listen. I’m a Republican and have always been one, but for the amount of GOV. money floating out to Democrats, Where do I sign up?
Doesn’t matter what it is, just say it’s green and Bango, 100 mill real quick.

BruceB on January 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM