In a press release from the US based manufacturer of solar technology Solyndra, the company announced a suspension of operations. Much like Massachusetts based Evergreen Solar, the company cited “global economic and solar industry market conditions” as the reason for their action. The similarities to Evergreen do not stop there. Both companies received large financial support from the government as part of the thrust to develop clean energy on American soil.
Solyndra, based in California, produces copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film technology. According to the company’s website, “our panels employ cylindrical modules which capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity.” The site goes on to claim that “our cylindrical technology was designed for the rooftop and offers the benefit of light weight, low cost and the fastest, easiest installation of any solar technology.”
As a result of the federal loans secured and the subsequent announcement by Solyndra to cease operations, congressional hearings taking place this week have become politically charged. NPR reports “the company is in bankruptcy and is being investigated by the FBI.” During the congressional hearings, “Republicans raised questions over whether the administration rushed the loan process for political or private reasons, while officials from the Department of Energy defended the decision to invest in the technology.”