“But don’t forget, you put $90 billion – like 50 years worth of breaks – into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.” – Mitt Romney to Barack Obama, during the first presidential debate
Another Obama loser has gone belly up – a relative bargain this time, costing American taxpayers only $3 million in Department of Energy Loans. That’s almost a “success” by Obama standards.
This time it’s Satcon Technology, which the Heritage Foundation recalls was given that $3 million to develop “a compact, lightweight power conversion device that is capable of taking utility-scale solar power and outputting it directly into the electric utility grid at distribution voltage levels – eliminating the need for large transformers.”
It looks like the need for large transformers wasn’t ready to be eliminated. The Associated Press, which for some reason did not see fit to mention the Energy Department loan, recounts the unhappy financial history that made the company such an attractive target for Obama “investment:”
The Boston company, which makes products for large-scale solar power installations, filed its petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware after defaulting on a portion of its debt earlier this month.
Satcon has struggled financially for several years. Its power-conversion devices and other products were in steady demand in 2011, but never translated to profitability. The company posted losses each year from 2005 to 2011, and it reported a loss for the first six months of 2012.
In January, Satcon announced plans to cut 140 jobs, or about 35 percent of its workforce, and close a factory in Canada, blaming a drop in demand for solar power installations around the world.
Reuters adds that Satcon reported a loss for 22 consecutive quarters, as it was “squeezed by falling demand after top consumer Europe lowered subsidies for renewable energy.” So a solar-junk company subsidized by the American government failed because foreign governments didn’t feel like subsidizing the purchase of its products any more. Wonderful!