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Government investigates loans to bankrupt solar firm

Solyndra’s collapse spurs inquiries about DOE’s Energy Loan Program

Solar-panel maker Solyndra Inc. could have been described as the poster child of the Obama administration’s push for clean energy development. But the company’s August bankruptcy filing has left some government officials questioning how it failed after the Department of Energy (DOE) loaned it $528 million through its Energy Loan Program. 

Solyndra was the first renewable energy company to receive a loan guarantee under the DOE’s Energy Loan Program, which was part of the 2009 stimulus. The amount the company was loaned was significant given renewable energy companies’ funding challenges.

The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it is investigating Solyndra loan as well as the Federal Financing Bank’s role in the allocation of the loan. The DOE’s inspector general and the House Energy and Commerce Committee also are scrutinizing the loan and emails that may indicate that Solyndra received special treatment from the White House. The FBI also has questioned the company’s executives and searched its Fremont, Calif., headquarters. 

Ashley Post

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