Poetic justice: Solyndra’s glass tubes now part of a modern art exhibit
posted at 6:41 pm on August 20, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
The erstwhile solar company Solyndra, you’ll remember, received a more than $500 million loan guarantee from Obama’s Department of Energy clean energy program and was touted as a poster child of the burgeoning clean energy movement, only to fail miserably at taxpayers’ expense last year. Via Joel Gehrke, PJ Media has the scoop on the rather spectacularly fitting final resting place of some of the auctioned-off or abandoned solar-panel-making inventory from the now-bankrupt Solyndra factory. Oh yes, friends — manufactured parts once meant to power the ostensible clean energy economy of the future, courtesy of the federal government’s “investment,” are now a part of a modern art exhibit at U.C. Berkeley. It would almost be hilarious, if the Obama administration weren’t still fighting tooth-and-nail to maintain their authority to continue hand-picking winners and losers in the energy market.
The tubes were recovered from Solyndra. The solar panels developed by the company were claimed to be unlike any other product ever tried in the industry. The panels were made of racks of cylindrical tubes (also called tubular solar panels), as opposed to traditional flat panels. Although the company was once touted for its unusual technology, plummeting silicon prices led to the company being unable to compete with more conventional solar panels. On September 1, 2011, the company ceased all business activity, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and laid off all employees leaving behind 24 million glass tubes in San Jose, California destined to be destroyed.
It’s almost too perfect that, instead of being left for dead and lost to the ravages of time, the government’s incompetence as a venture capitalist is being immortalized in a pretty-and-whimsical-but-functionally-useless exhibit. It just says so little, while at the same time saying so much, you know?