More Obama Pet Projects Going Under

April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm (CH2M Hill, First Solar, Fisker, Jeff Garland, Jobs, Layoffs, Stimulus)

We covered CH2M Hill earlier today, as they have announced more layoffs in the wake of $2 billion in stimulus funding for a specific environmental cleanup project.  While their layoffs are site specific and not widespread, a couple other companies aren’t so fortunate.

From Thurber’s Thoughts:

Following bad news over the weekend, another solar firm announces major restructuring moves, including layoffs, today.

First Solar (FSLR) was kicked off the Nasdaq-100 Monday and replaced by Texas Instruments.  First Solar is based in Tempe, AZ, but was founded in Toledo under the name of Solar Cells, Inc.  Their only U.S. manufacturing facility is in Perrysburg Township.

In October, they fired their CEO.  In December, they announced 100 layoffs and a delay at their Mesa plant.  

Today, they announced further changes, including closing operations and laying off 2,000 – roughly 30% of their workforce.

Also, Weasel Zippers has this…

More Layoffs At Obama-Funded Electric Carmaker Fisker Automotive, Delaware Plant Is “Absolutely Empty”…

I’m pretty sure we can kiss our $529 million goodbye.
Via AOL Auto Blog:

Last we heard, Fisker Automotive was still “committed” to building the recently revealed Atlantic sedan at the former General Motors plant in Delaware. A few years ago, Fisker announced that site would be the company’s new domestic production home (the Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in hybrid is made by Valmet in Finland). Still, Fisker did say that any definitive statement on the Atlantic’s production location would not come until the end of the summer.

So we were interested to read new reports from local media that show more signs that the Atlantic might not ever be built in Delaware. On Friday, Delaware Online reports, 12 more workers — including engineers and maintenance technicians — were laid off at the plant, leaving “only a small maintenance team” left there. One of those let go was Jeff Garland, who had been working on community affairs and business development efforts in Delaware. He said the plant is currently “absolutely empty.” This is because Fisker has taken out the old GM equipment but has not yet installed the machines it would need to build the Atlantic. As Garland told Delaware Online, “I think what happened was the budget numbers are so tight right now and they’re working so hard to preserve as much cash as they can that something had to give. We’re not making a car in Wilmington right now, so given that situation it was an obvious place to make a cut.

We must be heading for another one of those ‘Summer of Recovery’ things…

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First Solar Given Millions to Buy Panels From… First Solar

March 20, 2012 at 7:00 am (Arizona, Canada, Export-Import Bank, First Solar, Green Energy, Harry Reid, President Obama, Solar Panels, St. Clair Solar, Stimulus)

Who knew the Obama administration was so good at government versions of three card monte?

Erika Johnsen at Townhall reports:

Just add it to the Obama administration’s ever-lengthening list of ridiculous stimulus-related schemes: a well-subsidized solar company received a federal loan guarantee (backed, it goes without saying, by The American Taxpayer) to sell solar panels… to itself.

And here’s the story from the Washington Examiner:

First Solar is the company. The subsidy came from the Export-Import Bank, which President Obama and Harry Reid are currently fighting to extend and expand. The underlying issue is how Obama’s insistence on green-energy subsidies and export subsidies manifests itself as rank corporate welfare.

Here’s the road of subsidies these solar panels followed from Perrysburg, Ohio, to St. Clair, Ontario.

First Solar is an Arizona-based manufacturer of solar panels. In 2010, the Obama administration awarded the company $16.3 million to expand its factory in Ohio — a subsidy Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland touted in his failed re-election bid that year.

Five weeks before the 2010 election, Strickland announced more than a million dollars in job training grants to First Solar. The Ohio Department of Development also lent First Solar $5 million, and the state’s Air Quality Development Authority gave the company an additional $10 million loan.

After First Solar pocketed this $17.3 million in government grants and $15 million in government loans, Ex-Im entered the scene.

In September 2011, Ex-Im approved $455.7 million in loan guarantees to subsidize the sale of solar panels to two wind farms in Canada. That means if the wind farm ever defaults, the taxpayers pick up the tab, ensuring First Solar gets paid.

But the buyer, in this case, was First Solar.

A small corporation called St. Clair Solar owned the wind farm and was the Canadian company buying First Solar’s panels. But St. Clair Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar. So, basically, First Solar was shipping its own solar panels from Ohio to a solar farm it owned in Canada, and the U.S. taxpayers were subsidizing this “export.”

Read the rest here… 

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