Green Energy Boondoggle: $650 Million MORE Tax-Payer Dollars Down The Drain

Specialist Gregg Maloney works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Residential solar power system company Vivint Solar said Tuesday its sale to SunEdison is off, saying SunEdison was not fulfilling the terms of the deal. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) ORG XMIT: NYRD103

Now that the Obama Administration is – hopefully – coming to an end, one of the “success” stories of green energy might be as well.  It’s known as SunEdison, it’s supposedly the world’s largest green energy company, and it’s facing enough liquidity difficulties (lack of cash flow) that one of its subsidiaries, TerraForm Global, filed a Securities and Exchange Commission extension, essentially, to delay their annual financial report.  From The Daily Caller:

An SEC filing from TerraForm Global, a unit of SunEdison, claims “due to SunEdison’s liquidity difficulties, there is a substantial risk that SunEdison will soon seek bankruptcy protection.” Both SunEdison and TerraForm are delaying the filing of their annual financial report to the SEC.

Well, now, SunEdison, as it happens, and it’s subsidiaries have received around $650 million in government subsidies and tax credits to build solar power systems and panels.  In 2015, the company was valued at over $10 billion.  Now, less than a year later, the company is valued at less than $400 million, with its stock having lost 95% of its value.  Currently, the stock is trading under a dollar a share, and the SEC is investigating the validity of the claim that the company had $1 billion in cash last fall as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Sun Edison is not the first tax-payer subsidized company to consider or actually go bankrupt.  The poster child for failed government subsidized “green” energy (they’re actually collecting a different sort of green) is Solyndra followed by Abound Solar.  Both of those bankruptcies fleeced the American taxpayer for tens of millions of dollars as the loans to the companies had to be paid back.

This time, with SunEdison, if they do go bankrupt, the taxpayers are going to be socked for up to $2 BILLION.

This includes nearly $4.6 million in subsidies from the Department of Energy and Department of Treasury. reported in October 2015 that SunEdison had gotten nearly $4.6 million from the Obama administration, including funding to build semi-conductors. A SunEdison bankruptcy could leave taxpayers on the hook for more than $2 billion.

Some of the biggest names in crony capitalism – namely Warren Buffett – have been candid that the only reason they support green energy is for the subsidies.  SunEdison, after 20 years, looks like it is more of the same: taxpayer cash down a rathole.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.