DoE Loan Recipients Continue to Fail

Two more Department of Energy loan recipients have fallen. Add them to the growing list of bankruptcies, which includes Evergreen Solar and Solyndra.

Beacon Power Corp., which received $43 million from the same loan program that backed Evergreen and Solyndra, has filed for bankruptcy. The loan came after Beacon was notified by NASDAQ that it didn’t meet the exchange’s minimum trading-price of $1 and that it could possibly be delisted. That’s right, the company wasn’t even worth $1 per share yet our government decided to give them a loan.

Besides Beacon, EnerDel, which makes electric car batteries has also been delisted from NASDAQ after their parent company’s stock fell from $4.04 in 2010 to 9 cents last week. EnerDel received $118 million from this same loan program in 2010 and spent has spent $53 million of that so far. In 2010, 253 people were employed at the company using that money, today there’s just 33 jobs supported. A spokesman for the company said that they are staffed just fine right now. Which begs the question, did they need to hire that many more people after receiving the federal loan?

It must be getting very difficult for the Obama Administration to continue claiming that Solyndra was an isolated incident when Evergreen Solar failed before Solyndra, Beacon has now failed since Solyndra. And these, along with EnerDel and SpectraWatt (the first green energy firm to fail), are not the only casualties. SunPower, a California solar power company, is in more debt than the company is worth, and it received a $1.2 billion loan from the federal government. Yet another failure, the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado is laying off 10% of its workforce.

By my count, that’s at least 7 companies that have received government loans that have now failed or are failing. The government has proven – yet again – that it is terrible at playing “venture capitalist.” How much more taxpayer money will be wasted before these loans stop?

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