28 June 2012
Abound Solar, a panel manufacturer based in Colorado (US) filed for bankruptcy, according to the federal Department of Energy.
The company, which was a spin off of Colorado State University, laid off 180 workers earlier this year. The company was founded by a Colorado State University professor.
In a statement posted on the Department of Energy’s website, agency spokesman Damien LaVera said the company had originally qualified for a $400 million loan, but only received $70 million because Abound failed to meet “financial milestones” built into the loan agreement.
“When the floor fell out on the price of solar panels, Abound’s product was no longer cost competitive,” LaVera said in the statement. “Because of the strong protections we put in place for taxpayers, the department has already protected more than 80% of the original loan amount. Once the bankruptcy liquidation is complete, the department expects the total loss to the taxpayer to be between 10 and 15% of the original loan amount.”
The company said it had raised more than $200 million in venture capital and private equity since 2007, and it had planned to build a large manufacturing facility in Tipton, Indiana to complement its line in Longmont. In February of this year, the company said it was shutting down production of its first-generation panels to get ready to launch its new line of cheaper, more efficient panels. It also announced layoffs at that time, but called them a “temporary reduction.”