Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Solar: Goldman Sachs-backed Solyndra to Close a Factory and Delay Expansion

UPDATE: "Solyndra Spells Disaster for DOE Loan Guarantee Program""
Original post:
From the New York Times:
Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar-panel maker that won half a billion dollars in federal aid to build a state-of-the-art robotic factory, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will shut down an older plant and lay off workers.

The cost-cutting move, which will reduce the company’s previously announced production capacity, is a sign of the notable shift in the prospects for cutting-edge American solar companies, which now face intense price competition from Chinese manufacturers that use more established photovoltaic technologies.
Just seven weeks ago, Solyndra opened Fab 2, a $733 million factory in Fremont, Calif., to make its high-tech solar panels. The new plant was supposed to be the first phase of a rapid expansion of the company.

Instead, Solyndra has decided to shutter the old plant and postpone plans to expand Fab 2, which was built with a $535 million federal loan guarantee.

“Fab 2 is much more efficient and cost-effective than our existing facility,” Brian Harrison, Solyndra’s chief executive, said in an interview. “We’re adjusting our plans to be more in line with where the market is and where our business is at the moment.”

When Solyndra filed for an initial public stock offering in December, it estimated it would have a total production capacity of 610 megawatts by 2013 if its two plants were fully built out. The company now expects it have capacity of 285 to 300 megawatts by 2013.

Solyndra abandoned plans for the stock offering in June, citing market conditions.

The company is the most prominent of a wave of Silicon Valley solar start-ups that hoped to transform the economics of the industry. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Energy Secretary Steven Chu helped break ground on Fab 2 last year, and President Obama made an appearance at the unfinished factory in May to extol Solyndra’s innovative technology....MORE
Solar upstart Solyndra mothballs IPO plans (Funny what a 'Going Concern" Letter will Do) GS
Okay kids, we (You, me, the U.S. Govvy) just gave these guys a $535 Mil. loan guarantee.
One of their investors is an outfit called Goldman Sachs which advertises that they bring companies public.
What is going on?...
"The Daily Start-Up: Auditor Questions Solyndra’s Viability" (Going Concern Warning) GS; FSLR
Was Solyndra the Reason Goldman Sachs Threw First Solar Under the Bus? (FSLR; GS; SPWRA)
What is Solyndra’s Cost Per Watt? (SOLY; FSLR; TSL)
First Solar Snags Rival Solyndra’s Top Scientist (FSLR)

Goldman Sachs and the Solar Land Rush (FSLR; GS)

Solyndra’s backlog passes US$2 billion as new sales agreement signed (GS)