Friday, October 14, 2011

Solyndra disclosures focus new attention on Boston investor

     Being in the business, I can attest to the fact that most of the work being contracted in the solar industry for the past three years is government related; state buildings, municipalities, counties, etc.  Not only is that you and me paying, but in most instances these jobs must be completed on union terms which does mean inflated costs.  Many a company heading east to set up shop is finding out that not all states along with state regulations and red tape are created equal.  It is not widely known that the Federal's have mandated these government agencies to have a percentage of their energy needs be derived from solar energy.  As far as the solar panel manufacturers go, the one great drawback is that most of the panels are coming from China because the cost is much cheaper and the US can not compete, all trade wars set aside.  Not unlike the Made in America cry that has been heard in recent years, Massachusetts was giving out rebates for solar panels that were made in the state and we all know how that ended up.............goodbye Evergreen Solar, see you at your new manufacturing plant in China. One thing has not changed, everyone is looking for the government contract, where the dollars flow freely with no accountability until someone gets caught or the money does run out.

A Boston firm that was one of the lead private investors in Solyndra  reportedly used its seat on a Pentagon technology panel to promote the now-bankrupt solar company for a U.S. Navy contract.
RockPort Capital Partners  was the fourth largest investor in Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September. The cleantech-focused, Boston firm had invested $47.5 million in Solyndra, which reportedly received over $1 billion in capital, including a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.
According to a report in Friday morning's Wall Street Journal, RockPort was instrumental in Solyndra's efforts to secure a lucrative Navy contract. RockPort principal Kevin Kopczynski sits on a panel that advises the Pentagon on emerging technology. Solyndra's bid fell apart when news of its bankruptcy broke.

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