Solyndra, Inc. - the hottest name in scandal right now - was nothing if not ambitious. A lot has been made of the firm's $535 million loan guarantee from the Dept. of Energy, now in jeopardy after the company declared bankruptcy. And it's a controversy that keeps on giving.
A close look by LA Observed at the company's SEC filings shows that it also was seeking additional DOE loan guarantees of $469 million for Phase II of its so-called Fab 2 solar power manufacturing facility in Fremont. And, get this, DOE - according to Solyndra's Dec. 18, 2009 application for SEC approval to sell common stock - tentatively gave this 2nd loan application its approval. Here's the story right from Solyndra's own S-1:
"On September 11, 2009, we submitted Part 1 of an application for an approximately $469 million guaranteed loan to be utilized to finance the construction of Phase II. As with the financing facility for Phase I, the loan would be made by the Federal Financing Bank and guaranteed by the DOE. On November 4, 2009, we were notified by the DOE that our Part 1 application was complete and that Phase II was determined to be a Section 1703 eligible project and to have the credit subsidy cost for the project paid out of funds allocated under Section 1705. We submitted Part 2 of our loan guarantee application on November 17, 2009."
It's not clear just how far along this Phase II plan got before Solyndra went into bankruptcy. An internet search shows that the Phase II funding plan is like the proverbial tree that fell in the forest - and no one heard it. And there is no doubt that the Phase II financing plan was distinct from the much-talked about $535 million loan guarantee that was approved by DOE. The following language, also excerpted from the company's S-1 SEC filing, makes that clear:
"Phase I Financing
We were the first company to secure a guaranteed loan facility under Title XVII. On September 3, 2009, we and one of our subsidiaries, Solyndra Fab 2 LLC, entered into financing agreements with the Federal Financing Bank, a government corporation under the general supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the DOE that provide for a $535 million loan to Solyndra Fab 2 LLC, which we refer to as the Fab 2 Borrower, that is guaranteed by the DOE. The estimated aggregate project costs of Phase I are approximately $733 million...."
So should taxpayers' count themselves lucky that Solyndra went bankrupt when it did - before the feds sank another $469 million into its solar power enterprise? Perhaps.
Solyndra's SEC filing - dry reading for sure - can be read in its entirety by clicking here.