Solar Equipment Maker Solyndra files for Bankruptcy

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Solyndra, the company the White House highlighted in its efforts to push for cleaner energy technology, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It has laid off more than 1,000 full-time and part-time workers and increased the Republican’s criticisms of the Obama administration’s initiative in renewable energy.

The company issued a statement Wednesday, citing the global economic recession and weak demand for solar panels had forced it to suspend production at its plant. The company now has to weigh its options in how to reorganize. One option is to find a suitable buyer and to license the technology it uses to manufacture its solar products, which includes a unique cylindrical solar panel that maximizes absorption of the sun’s rays.

The government awarded Fremont-based Solydra a loan guarantee (the first company to be given the guarantee) of $535 million as part of President Obama’s economic stimulus package. The guarantee was issued under the Energy Department’s program in 2009. Then last year, the President visited Solyndra’s plant in California to spotlight the government’s efforts in promoting clean renewable energy. At that time, Solyndra was expanding its business creating jobs for workers making construction materials to build a new factory and assembling parts for solar equipment.

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