Another — yes, another — Obama-funded solar firm making layoffs

posted at 10:01 pm on February 28, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I really just hate to gloat, but… I kinda’ called this one.

Late last summer, at about the same time as the failed federally-backed solar company Solyndra was in its death throes, the Obama administration decided to go full steam ahead with its loan guarantee program anyway, approving a $197 million loan to oh-so-promising startup SoloPower. On top of that, the company received a total of $58 million in various tax incentives from Oregon and Portland, where they located their first major factory. Pretty sweet leg-up for an industry President Obama is constantly telling us is “on the rise,” no?

Womp. Solopower announced today that there going to have to do some business restructuring, including layoffs — and although they didn’t announce an exact number, it doesn’t look like things are going quite according to plan for them. Via Forbes:

The company issued a short statement about the plan after The Oregonian reported last night that the Silicon Valley startup is in trouble. The venture-backed company is laying off employees, and top executives have left the company recently, the newspaper reported.

SoloPower declined to disclose how many people it’s letting go or where the layoffs will take place.

“The restructuring includes a workforce reduction designed to trim costs and address market conditions as the company transitions from an R&D focus to commercial manufacturing and sales,” the company said in a statement.

SoloPower now joins a long line of solar equipment manufacturers worldwide who have struggled mightily to stay in business in the past two years. A glut of solar panels has caused prices to crash and forced dozens of manufacturers to either file for bankruptcies, idle production lines or scratch new factory plans. The impact of this imbalance of supply and demand has affected everyone from industry stalwarts such as First Solar and SunPower to startups such as Solyndra and Abound Solar.

President Obama is fond of iterating that we simply must continue to “invest” in order to keep pace with China on the green-energy frontier, but I am mystified as to why we’re using taxpayer money to so determinedly chase after an international industry that is nothing short of a mess of overcapacity (largely due to so much government interference in the free market! Who on earth could’ve seen that coming?).

As I’ve argued before, all of the federal government’s attempts to forcibly engineer the substance and direction of the energy market, by subsidizing industries that cannot compete by their lonesome, is actually more of a disservice to the future green energy — intentional market distortion is hardly the best way to encourage long-term price efficiency, especially when it comes at the expense of throwing us further into national debt and discouraging the type of robustly prosperous economy that best engenders innovation and progress.


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0 Employment.

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Next series. Green Energy.

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Your side Lost! So shut up, goddamnit!

HAL

nobar on February 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM

The solar company that I was contracted with.

Is no more..
And Mississippi got screwed on tax breaks on a new huge factory that was built..

An empty building up for sale..

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

The New Road To Success…

http://ninetymilesfromtyranny.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-new-road-to-success.html

Bootleghooch on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

but I am mystified as to why we’re using taxpayer money

That is the simplest part of it Ericka, because Obama is implementing the Cloward-Pivens Strategy. He isn’t trying to develop alternative energy sources, he is trying to destroy America’s economy so that he and his Marxist fellow travelers can replace it with a Marxist Utopia.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

An empty building up for sale..

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

That series is already under way.

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I almost took a job there… but they didn’t return my calls…

/s

Hog Wild on February 28, 2013 at 10:11 PM

That series is already under way.

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Ditto..

Interesting story..

The process to build Solar Panels..
(With the company I was contracted with)
Next generation..of course..

Was too heavy to install..
And required more energy then the panel would produce over it’s livetime..

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Another — yes, another — Obama-funded solar firm making layoffs

…so when will the government media start putting 2 an 2 together?

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Schweet! Great foresight! The buildings series will of course look like this in some instances. I have some ideas already on how to make it more interesting.

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Damn Physics and Economics… They always go against the liberal delusions… The same with Truth, Facts, and Reality… Just damn it…

mnjg on February 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Another — yes, another — Obama-funded solar firm making layoffs

…so when will the government media start putting 2 an 2 together?

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Right after Satan, known also as Lucifer, that old Dragon and the Devil finishes his ice skating rink in heII…

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Where’s my “green” job?

TarheelBen on February 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

That’s right 0 toos more of our money chasing skittles rainbows and fracking Unicorns!

Americae extremis est a summo descendit

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Is there a ray of hope for solar or will it always be in the red?

You could get burned investing in solar energy.

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

toos=throws omg I can’t spell any more :-(

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Will solar ever see the light of day or will dark clouds loom over the whole sector?

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:27 PM

toos=throws omg I can’t spell any more :-(

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Ahem… Are you trying to imply you ever could? ;P

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Perhaps the company should hire some one with star power to shed light on its future prospects.

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Who cares about “another Obama-funded solar firm making layoffs”?

Marco Rubio took a drink of water, and Bob Woodward is a clown.

MidniteRambler on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

yes! lol… ;-P

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Will solar ever see the light of day or will dark clouds loom over the whole sector?

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:27 PM

It isn’t suppose to “See that light of day”, it’s suppose to allow Obama’s Marxist buddies to skim hundreds of millions of dollars off the company’s and into their secret offshore bank accounts.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Your one liners are priceless!! Hope you are keeping them all some place safe :-)

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Is there a ray of hope for solar or will it always be in the red?

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

With todays technology.,….
Yes.

But China is flooding the market with crap..

Short live crap…

Low info Buyers will dictate the future…

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

These people need to be reminded that not everything revolves around solar.

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Well FRACK me!

Polish Rifle on February 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Polish Rifle on February 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Sorry to inform you but FRACK is MY choice word for usage…

Back off buster ;-P

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

obmacare will turn out to be his best green air project. got too many old white folks sucking up oxygen from teh childrens. black and brown folk got the decency to die younger.

renalin on February 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

…so when will the government media start putting 2 an 2 together?

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

They already have. 2 + 2 = It’s the Republicans’ fault

TarheelBen on February 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Wow these lay offs might cause investors to flare up at the next shareholder meeting.

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Well FRACK me!

Polish Rifle on February 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

The Supreme Court will rule on this..

In due time…

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

That is the simplest part of it Ericka, because Obama is implementing the Cloward-Pivens Strategy. He isn’t trying to develop alternative energy sources, he is trying to destroy America’s economy so that he and his Marxist fellow travelers can replace it with a Marxist Utopia.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Should be stated. DAILY.

riddick on February 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:35 PM

I have ruled, it’s my word! lol ;-)

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Isn’t it obvious that solar has been eclipsed by other forms of energy?

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

That is the simplest part of it Ericka, because Obama is implementing the Cloward-Pivens Strategy. He isn’t trying to develop alternative energy sources, he is trying to destroy America’s economy so that he and his Marxist fellow travelers can replace it with a Marxist Utopia.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Should be stated. DAILY.

riddick on February 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Should be, but most people (especially the Professional Blogging Class) don’t just live in denial, they get mighty pissed off when you educate them.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Obama is the most expensive prima donna the nation has ever known.

VorDaj on February 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Bmore on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Haha. Can’t wait to see them.

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

anybody know of any clean energy companies that are making a profit?

renalin on February 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

At some point the size of the sun is going to expand rapidly. How is solar going to power my microwave oven then?

wolly4321 on February 28, 2013 at 10:46 PM

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

…haven’t clicked the site for a few days…now I have the printed words to the song too!…I always pay too much attention to what’s happening in the music…and not in the words…until I can physically read them

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Isn’t it obvious that solar has been eclipsed by other forms of energy?

SparkPlug on February 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

…farting?

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

…haven’t clicked the site for a few days…now I have the printed words to the song too!…I always pay too much attention to what’s happening in the music…and not in the words…until I can physically read them

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Once upon a time I fancied myself quit the musician and lyricist, now unfortunately the whole world can examine and dissect my folly at their leisure. Oh well, I never was bright enough to know when to leave well enough alone… o_O

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

170 million people could be laid off by solar firms (right Maxine?) and we’d still keep shoveling $$$$ down this hole.

Next up federal funding for:

$6.75 million to study squirrel droppings.

$14.3 million to fund Helen Keller Eyesight Benefits Center.

$12.9 million for new Furballs in human history wing at the Smithsonian.

$10 million Immigrant Migration Studies center at the University of Montana.

$115 million in funding for a 10 year study for the viability of human and animal excrement as a “renewable energy”.

………and we can’t cut Federal spending?

PappyD61 on February 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

…no…I liked the music and didn’t pay attention to the words…now put together…it’s pretty good!

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 11:01 PM

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

…no…I liked the music and didn’t pay attention to the words…now put together…it’s pretty good!

KOOLAID2 on February 28, 2013 at 11:01 PM

That song was written about my drug problems, and the pain and frustration that I felt over the situation.

SWalker on February 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Sorry to inform you but FRACK is MY choice word for usage…

Back off buster ;-P

Scrumpy on February 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Win Win.

Polish Rifle on February 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM

OUT: The Aristocracy of Money.

IN:
The Aristocracy of Pull.

LegendHasIt on February 28, 2013 at 11:31 PM

market conditions

Translation: The Chinese are building them cheaper.

unclesmrgol on March 1, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Another — yes, another — Obama-funded solar firm making layoffs

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result”

landlines on March 1, 2013 at 1:08 AM

all of the federal government’s attempts to forcibly engineer the substance and direction of the energy market, by subsidizing industries that cannot compete by their lonesome, is actually more of a disservice to the future green energy

Absolutely so!

Of course, the government and “environmentalists” have a different goal than being “green” or good to the environment. It is just an excuse for greater central control. They don’t care that government isn’t good at picking winners and losers, they just want the power to do it. It isn’t as if they pay the bill anyway.

Adjoran on March 1, 2013 at 3:54 AM

There is an aggressive Chinese entry coming!

Watch for it.

The Chinese are where Pittsburgh (yes, in Pennsylvania) was in 1953.

The place was so filthy that you had to change a white shirt at lunch time and is believed by some wags to have led to some unusual genetic defects causing french fries on sandwiches, obsession with a brutal defense on their football team, an absolute love of immense potholes and some crackpot woman who has to mess with me for nearly 30 years instead of getting a bottle of Ambassador scotch and an anatomically correct husband.

Now they are into solar and green energy. Go over there. They have to do something! We are not in that bad a shape.

DO NOT ALLOW THE CHINESE INTEREST TO SUGGEST THAT ANY OF THESE INVESTMENTS MAKE SENSE FOR US.

Euro papers are full of dumping allegations and the Chinese interest seems genuine.

You know what the media will do as soon as they get the nerve to offend their dream state. And, the Chinese aren’t the worst people on earth. They are fun to watch, not imitate.

IlikedAUH2O on March 1, 2013 at 7:39 AM

The govt has to help green energy because they can’t build it on their own. It’s not so much that prezzy believes in electric cars or electricity made from sunlight, he’s got all his eco nazis to do that for him.

Kissmygrits on March 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM

When one places their faith in pipe dreams and delusions they are often are disappointed. Think about things like Affordable Health Care, unbridled spending, renewable energy and other such delusions. They may have good intentions, may, but then they will fail because they are not based on sound, common sense or proven thinking; in fact they may have been done to purposely tear down the world’s leading economic engine by destroying some of its integral parts; things like the coal industry, great health care and good old fashion monetary policies.

Pardonme on March 1, 2013 at 8:44 AM

You’ll have to pardon Barry. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to how to run a business. Rabble rousing is his forte, not economics.

GarandFan on March 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM

The solar company that I was contracted with.

Is no more..
And Mississippi got screwed on tax breaks on a new huge factory that was built..

An empty building up for sale..

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

That has the makings of a depressing haiku (which is of course the best kind!)

Solar company
is no more. Left a brand-new
empty building there.

kshoosh on March 1, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Interesting story..

The process to build Solar Panels..
(With the company I was contracted with)
Next generation..of course..

Was too heavy to install..
And required more energy then the panel would produce over it’s livetime..

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Next depressing haiku (depress-iku?):

Solar panels weighed
too much to install, and weren’t
even efficient.

kshoosh on March 1, 2013 at 11:03 AM

With todays technology.,….
Yes.

But China is flooding the market with crap..

Short live crap…

Low info Buyers will dictate the future…

Electrongod on February 28, 2013 at 10:31 PM

You’re haiku gold (gold-ku?):

China is dumping
Cheap crap; the future
Will be low-info.

kshoosh on March 1, 2013 at 11:07 AM

What’s the best way an Obama crony can make money? Start a green energy company, get millions (or billions) in loans, and then fail.

sadatoni on March 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I didn’t mean to knock Pittsburgh.

They had numerous potholes even more than large ones.

I also shouldn’t be rude about any ladies.

I have tried being nice but it just got me more abuse. I never mentioned her peers comparing her to Cruella DeVille, taking me on a tour to her favorite bar stool and telling me she drove like a maniac and smoked fifty cigarettes an hour to discourage me from being nice and dating her.

I never dissed her like that but she doesn’t torture them. I tried to defend and respect her as you should all women but more so in her case as she has some unusual and real virtues.

IlikedAUH2O on March 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Hey, at least this solar energy crap fund will be reduced by 2% by sequestergeddon…oh wait, no first responders involved…never mind

NOMOBO on March 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM