Solar energy manufacturer to file bankruptcy

Rooftop solar manufacturer Solyndra said it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The news came two years after the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the company a $535 million loan guarantee.

News reports said the company would evaluate options that could include a sale of its business and licensing of its copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) technology. Solyndra raised nearly $1 billion in private equity financing from investors such as CMEA Ventures, Argonaut Ventures, Madrone Partners and U.S. Venture Partners, in addition to the loan guarantee.

DOE said in a blog that the company’s failure is due in part to lower subsidies for solar cells in Europe that stalled development of solar projects and led to a 25 percent drop in solar panel prices.

Solyndra reported revenue of $140 million in 2010 and said it planned to produce 300 MW of solar panels in 2011. News reports said it is the third company to file for bankruptcy protection, following behind Evergreen Solar Inc. and SpectraWatt Inc.

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