Solyndra Layoffs Much Larger Than Previously Reported: “Information like this represents a great deal of ammunition for Romney and his allies”

Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This report should also provide a great deal of ammunition to Democrats and independents who are fleeing Obama in droves. You know I’d suggest there should be a Justice Department investigation into this, but I suppose we’ll have to wait for Attorney General Chris Christie to handle that.

On the day it closed, Solyndra said it was laying off 1,100 full-time and temporary employees.

But 1,861 workers lost their jobs as the solar panel manufacturer shut its doors, according to U.S. Labor Department documents provided to The Bay Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents also show the Fremont-based company increased production in 2011, even though it failed to sell all the panels it made the previous year.

By the time it closed last August, Solyndra had an unsold inventory of more than 23 megawatts – enough solar panels to power about 23,000 homes.

Analysts said the revelations are likely to add new fuel to the partisan fire surrounding the demise of Solyndra, which received a $535 million federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009.

“Information like this represents a great deal of ammunition for Romney and his allies,” said Dan Schnur, a former Republican political consultant who now runs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.

But hey, let’s talk about Bain Capital some more. That’s really been working wonders.

In an email Tuesday, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, the Republican chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, said the Labor Department documents reveal that “Solyndra was doing much, much worse” than the company and the Energy Department publicly acknowledged in the months before the company declared bankruptcy.

Upton has led a congressional investigation into Solyndra’s failure. He and other Republicans have argued that the high-ranking Obama administration officials interceded on the company’s behalf to get the loan guarantee.

“The more we learn by the day, the worse the news gets,” he said.

The Energy Department and the White House Press Office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Don’t expect them to, either.

Remember who owns this.

11 Responses to “Solyndra Layoffs Much Larger Than Previously Reported: “Information like this represents a great deal of ammunition for Romney and his allies””

  1. Jeffersonian on 13/13/12 at 10:06 pm

    When you’re President, it’s so much harder than being a venture capital guy. You have to do all that research into who’s bundling for you and who’s not, which donors are rock-solid and which aren’t, and then weighing it all against whether you’ll get blamed or now when the whole kit and caboodle circles the drain, along with the money that isn’t yours. V-cappers just have to worry about making their businesses prosper.

  2. M Pinckney on 13/13/12 at 10:20 pm

    I read a lot, but have never seen any mention about this subject: How much company money did the high level executives who donated so much to Obama and Democrats walk away with. I.e., did they donate to Obama, get tax dollars for the company, get bonuses, severance, etc from company, walk away much much richer, at our expense?

  3. chris on 13/13/12 at 10:45 pm

    Another small detail (not for employees) was that Solyndra was allowed to hide major layoffs. I remember listening to a scoop at about 6 AM when a night shift guy called KSFO to say the crews had been pulled into the office and told to immediately vacate the premises. The place was shut down in the dark of night with no warning, no help, nothing but looting by senior management and parasites like lawyers, accounts and consultants.

    Bain would never have survived such shoddy treatment of its employees. You have to have connections.

  4. Marshall on 13/13/12 at 10:50 pm

    23 megawatts ==> 23,000 homes?

    Is 1 KW sufficient for a home? Seems pretty low to me.

  5. oMan on 13/13/12 at 11:07 pm

    Marshall: agree, seems off by an order of magnitude. I don’t know how these systems work but the stated system capacity is probably nominal, so a 10 kW system might deliver that at noon but only a fraction at early AM or late PM and zero at night. Maybe it would give 2-3 kW hours averaged over a 24-hour day. That might be enough to run a small house but peak loads (dryer, water pump, A/C, fridge compressor) might be 3-6 kW if all at once, so the grid would have to fill the gap (acting like a giant battery?).

    But 1kW nominal seems way low.

  6. cthulhu on 13/13/12 at 11:12 pm

    Hey, Upton — nice job on pointing out the rancid corruption of Solyndra… come light bulbs are still illegal?

    Maybe that House Energy and Commerce committee should re-read the constitution really carefully until they comprehend that the Federal government is only supposed to regulate commerce “with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes” and that anything else is on-its-face unconstitutional. Then, maybe, instead of bemoaning giveaways to one party’s supporters and planning giveaways to the other party’s supporters, they could set their cap at repealing every unconstitutional subsidy, restraint of trade, regulation, and private law (privilege) that Congress has shamefully enacted or allowed over the last few decades.

  7. GetAlongLittleDoggie on 14/14/12 at 8:06 am

    Yes a nice update to the fiscal sinkhole that was Solyndra. I notice there’s no mention of the inventory and WIP that they dumped and destroyed after the layoffs, some of which involved hazardous chemicals if I recall. They couldn’t even manage to donate the working inventory they had to any of the charities or non profit groups that could have put them to good use. And yet this scandal has hardly had any impact on Obama and Chu. The Daily Show had one of the most damning reports on this debacle, but the preezy breezes on as though it was just a drop in the garbage can.

  8. richard40 on 14/14/12 at 11:58 am

    Good point Marshal. A figure of 2,300 homes would be much more realistic. The article should fix that. Other than that math error though, which does not alter the basic point of the article, the rest of the article looks prety solid to me.

  9. Jay on 14/14/12 at 12:47 pm

    23,000 is correct

    An average U.S. household uses about 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. A watt is a unit of power, or energy per unit time, so it’s the rate at which energy is being used. A kilowatt-hour (or 1000 watt-hours) is a unit of energy, so 10,000 kWh is how much total energy each household uses over the course of a year.

    This means that each household, on average, uses energy at a rate of about 1 kilowatt (1000 watts, which equal to ten 100-watt light bulbs).

    One megawatt is equal to one million watts, so for one instant, one megawatt can power 1000 homes.

    A better question to ask is how many homes can a megawatt-hour (MWh) provide with energy for one hour? If one home needs 1 kWh of energy for one hour, then 1 MWh of energy can sustain 1000 homes for one hour.

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