Tag Archives: solar power

Is SoloPower the Next Solyndra?

solopowerShould the government be in the business to be in business? Can we afford to offer huge taxpayer backed loans to companies? If we are borrowing billions just to pay our own bills can we afford to be in the loan business?

Yet another solar company is headed for bankruptcy. This, just six months after receiving a government guaranteed 197 MILLION dollar taxpayer backed loan. In September 2012 Reuters reported on the similarities between this start-up company and the now well-known, and failed, Solyndra. Have we learned nothing?

In February SoloPower acknowledge that it was already restructuring through layoffs and selling off equipment.

In my neighborhood last summer a new restaurant opened with great fanfare. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with fresh seafood. Located in the middle of the desert it offered a unique menu. Its opening took away business from several other area restaurants causing at least one to close. Their inexpensive meals caused some to wonder how they were managing to import seafood in a cost effective manner because we are not near the beach. Sad to say, in less than six months the doors were shuttered, first with a note of reorganization, then one of non-payment of rent. Their business plan did not pan out and investors lost their financing money. Still, they were privately owned. Only those willing to take a risk lost money.

So, why is the government putting up all this money to a business without a solid plan? One hundred and ninety-seven million dollars is not pocket change.  What government official approved this giant loan? Is our country in such a position that we can risk these huge amounts of money? It is expected that taxpayers will get only 19% of $142 million and virtually none of the remaining $385 million loan money from Solyndra.  Maybe it’s time that the government get out of the business of being in business and leave risky start-ups to those who can afford the loss.

Watch the latest update here:



White House Tells Lies (Repeatedly) To Win

The White House re-election campaign has denied any knowledge of an abhorrent, misleading Super PAC ad that wrongly blames GOP challenger Mitt Romney for the death of a steelworker’s wife from cancer.

Campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded by saying: “We have nothing, no involvement, with any ads that are done by Priorities USA.  We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.”  Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter stated: “I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick, or the facts about his health insurance.”

The problem for the Oval Office and its hope for re-election is; Soptic told the story on May 14, 2012, in a conference call hosted by the Obama campaign.


This is from someone who condemned PAC attack ads running in favor of John Edwards during the 2008 campaign.  This is from a candidate who attacks Super PACs that are on Romney’s side, but never utters one peep about the PACs that are aligned with him, launching slanderous attacks against Romney on his behalf.

Apparently for “progressives”, civility remains a one way street.

Evidence shows how the White House’s assertion that political appointees were not involved in Energy Department loan decisions is a flat out lie.

Documents and sources knowledgeable of the situation show that disagreement between administration officials over approval of a $1.4 billion loan to another project was resolved by then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

Last summer the Oval Office occupier was briefed personally about a federal loan program aimed at helping clean-energy companies.   The briefing took place a mere two months before failure of the solar company Solyndra.  Solyndra was trumpeted by the White House as the poster child for solar power success in America.


It is easy to understand why Romney and his supporters justifiably lament the cheap, two-bit, Chicago thug style, dirty, lying, lowlife, bottoms scraping, scumbag, “progressive”, Alinsky tactics being used daily by the current White House occupant’s re-election campaign.  But to remain stuck in lament or defense mode plays right into their hands.

The best option is to stick to the truth and use the abundant available evidence to successfully portray the current administration and its “progressive” political allies for what they are.  So incredibly inept at governing that their own failed leadership and flagrant incompetence has forced them to lie, cheat and resort to character assassination in order to misrepresent themselves and their opponent.

Then paint the portrait of a viable alternative to failure: A proven leader who has achieved the American dream through pursuit of happiness.

Follow that with a series of questions.

Who would you rather have leading the United States of America; someone so inexperienced, inept and incompetent that Americans are resorting to Welfare, Disability and Food Stamps for survival?  Someone who must resort to blatantly dishonest tactics in an attempt to salvage their own failed, sagging political career?

Or would you rather have America led by a competent, successful and experienced businessman of good moral character who has plans to revitalize the American private sector economy and put Americans back to work?

America deserves better than having an inexperienced, incompetent, inept liar as President of the United States.

You deserve better.


SunPower – Solyndra squared?

Now Department of Energy Is Going International

How did a company get a $1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico to build the panels for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project in eastern San Luis Obispo County, CA? The $1.2 billion DOE loan guarantee will help San Jose-based SunPower build a 250-megawatt solar plant, the California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR). Hours before the DOE 1705 loan program expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2011 on Sept. 30, the $1.2 billion in loan guarantees was approved for SunPower. SunPower plans to manufacture its high-efficiency E18 series, E19 series, and E20 series solar panels, and will also produce its SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile system at the Mexicali facility.

In addition to manufacturing solar panel and roof tiles, SunPower builds solar panel ranches, like CVSR, which it then sells off, but retains the services contract. The DOE loan guarantee is earmarked for CVSR, which it has already sold to NRG Solar, but will continue to maintain. According to DOE, CVSR will create 350 construction jobs during the two-year build and 15 permanent jobs. WOW! $1.2 billion for 15 permanent jobs. What will DOE think of next?

SunPower, a failing California company whose current $800 million capitalization is below its $820 million current debt level. And, shareholders and retirement funds are suing it. But not to worry (said very sarcastically). Total, the French oil giant, paid $1.3 billion for 60% of SunPower in June, 2011. Total paid a 50% premium, or $15.26 per share, of Sunpower’s stock share value in April, 2011.

Loan Guarantee, Takeover, and Insider Stock Trading

Consider this: the loan guarantee was announced April 12, 2011, two weeks before Total launched its takeover. The takeover deal, made public April 28, 2011, allowed insider traders to get very liquid. SunPower CEO Tom Werner is typical of an inside trader. On May 24, 2011, he exercised his right to purchase 428,343 shares at $3.30 per share, a $18 discount from the day’s trading range. He sold 478,084 shares June 15, 2011, the day the Total takeover closed, at $23.25 netting him $11,115,453. Not bad for sitting on stock for less than a month.

SunPower Is In Big Trouble

Stoyan Elitzen, in September, 2011, at SeekingAlpha.com, says SunPower as the ninth-most-shorted solar stock traded. Although its stock has recovered from its all-time low of $6.60 per share to trade between $8 and $9 per share, it is far from its all-time high of $133.

An October 4, 2010 stock sell-off, dropping stock prices 12%, was triggered by the company’s Oct. 3 aftermarket statement announcing the company was paying down its $50 million credit line with a consortium of European banks and opening a new $200 million credit line with Deutsche Bank. According to the statement, Dennis V. Arriola, the company’s chief financial officer said the new credit line will improve the company’s ability to operate.

SunPower and its officers are defendants in a shareholder lawsuit, with plaintiffs including the Austin (TX) Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, and other institutional investors for an alleged scheme to deceive the investing public by making false statements contrary to nonpublic information known to the insiders.

Political Pull

Two men with strong SunPower connections are Rep. George R. Miller III, (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and the co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and his SunPower lobbyist son, George Miller IV. Miller III is a strong advocate for SunPower, which converted an old Richmond, CA, Ford plant in his district to a panel-manufacturing facility. And SunPower employs George IV, SunPower’s top lobbyist in California. Miller IV was pushing for the $1.2 billion loan guarantee taxpayers are on the hook for now.

Of the $15,650 SunPower donated in 2010 to House and Senate candidates, $14,650 went to Democrats. Top recipients: $4,000 to Sen. Harry Reid (D – NV), $3,000 to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D – AZ) and $2,900 to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D – CA). Does anyone see a pattern here?

Another Solyndra?

Another Solyndra? Unless SunPower has an ace up its sleeve, it sure looks like DOE and the WH have again wasted our taxpayer dollars. Only time will tell, and we’ll be watching for an announcement from SunPower.