June 28 Privately owned U.S. solar panel maker
Abound Solar said o n T hursday it planned to filed for bankruptcy
protection next week, the latest solar company to close down
despite receiving funding from the U.S. government.
The Loveland, Colorado, maker of thin-film panels had drawn
about $70 million of a $400 million loan from the U.S.
Department of Energy, which froze the disbursements in August
The DOE has been sharply criticized by Republicans for
lending more than $500 million to solar module maker Solyndra,
which folded last year amid allegations the White House had
pushed for the loans to reward its political supporters.
However, previous support for Abound Solar's government
loans had come from both Republicans and Democrats, and the
company had won some early financial support under the Bush
administration's Department of Energy.
Abound had sought to sell solar panels made with cadmium
telluride rather than polysilicon, which is used by most solar
makers, It blamed the influx of cheaper solar equipment from
China for driving it out of business.
The U.S. Commerce Department imposed duties total ling about
35 percent on some Chinese solar products earlier this year
after ruling that Beijing had given too much support to Chinese
manufacturers and that they had dumped inventories in the U.S.
market at below cost.
The company had largely halted production early this year,
and had unsuccessfully sought a buyer in recent months. About
125 employees will be laid off.
(Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by Dan Grebler)