Another Failed Solar Company

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 and is filed under Blog

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It’s another week; it’s another failed solar company.  The Ohio-based solar company, Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, which received $6 million in stimulus funding went bankrupt.  It recorded a $4.2 million loss and only $500,000 in revenue.  That revenue came in the form of a grant from the state of Ohio!  This from the National Legal and Policy Center:

An Ohio-based solar company received millions of dollars in state and federal subsidies despite government officials’ knowledge that the company was in financial trouble, and now a local newspaper reports little activity at the manufacturer’s Perrysburg plant.

According to a report last month in The Toledo Blade, Willard & Kelsey Solar Group was lent $10 million by two state agencies even though the company showed little more than a half million dollars in revenue for 2009 – that being a grant from the Buckeye State – and a loss of $4.2 million. State officials told the newspaper that loan was completed because it had already been promised. […]

Other records show that part of the money that flowed to Willard & Kelsey came from U.S. taxpayers, even though the company told the newspaper it received no federal funding. Reports posted at the Recovery.gov Web site, which discloses information about funds dispensed out of the 2009 Recovery Act (aka the “stimulus”), shows a $6 million award to the Ohio Department of Development for its “Energizing Careers” project. Of that, according to a department press release from January 2011, $700,981 went to Willard & Kelsey “for worker training to manufacture highly efficient frameless Cadmium Telluride photovoltaic solar panels….”

The sad thing is that the failed stimulus experiment could have served as a lesson that despite all the tailwinds (subsidies, mandates, free PR from the government), Solar technology is still not profitable and should not be pursued by the federal government.  Sadly, DC politicians, including many Republicans, refuse to internalize that lesson.  Government-sponsored venture socialism is not only unconstitutional; it is an unmitigated failure.