Give me the warm power of the sun … and contributions to Harry and Barry

In the wake of several reports here on questionable federal loan guarantees for solor power companies — including the SolarReserve project near Tonopah ($737 million) and the First Solar plant near Primm ($2.1 billion) — an alert reader clued me in on another, this one in California.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tours SunPower plant

Anonymous suggested, “And check out SunPower (SPWRA), a ‘green’ firm that just qualified for $1.2 Billion in loan guarantees from Uncle Sugar. This is estimated to create a stupendous 15 permanent jobs at a company whose stock has plummeted from $127 per share in 2007 to a rockin’ $8.00 per share today. If Wall Street won’t invest in this turkey, why are we?”

Good question, anon. But the stock actually peaked at $133.61 on Dec. 7, 2007. The stock market has not put much faith nor capital into the firm since. This morning it is trading at $8.07. But the Department of Energy is throwing our money at it.

According to Fox News report SunPower lost $150 million in the first half of this year and its debt is nearly 80 percent of its market value. Also, the company has been sued for allegedly misstating its earnings.

Like the aforementioned solar firms above, SunPower has a Democratic connection. California Democratic Rep. George Miller’s son is the company’s top lobbyist.

Investor’s Business Daily today asks in an editorial:

“So what exactly does SunPower have going for it?

“As the Daily Caller reports, it has paid lobbyist Patrick Murphy, a confidant of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, at least $290,000 in lobbying fees since 2009. SunPower’s political action committee gave $16,500 to Democratic congressional candidates in 2010, vs. $500 to the GOP.

“Reid got the largest single donation, $4,000.”

Give me the warm power of a campaign contribution.

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8 comments on “Give me the warm power of the sun … and contributions to Harry and Barry

  1. Steve says:

    Question, what is the ration of failure:success in these solar companies?

    GE is starting one in Colorado with no subsidies and plans to make profit as prices drop for solar panaels saying prices have to drop if solar is to become viable and they are correct on that.

  2. Steve says:

    When I say no subsidies, I must have read no Federal subsidies. 10 states competed for this so there are state tax subsidies or incentives. involved. Still this one looks different more along standard business operation for large start ups in local areas.

  3. There is still grid problem and the backup power problem due to solar being intermittent.

  4. Steve says:

    No argument on that end Tom. Not only that but if every home in town put in a grid tie system does anyone really think the cost of grid power would not skyrocket? I am just wondering if any solar manufacturers are doing ok and what percentage are not.

  5. Some of the Chinese companies with huge subsidies, maybe … you can't tell because many are not publicly traded.

  6. Steve says:

    That makes GE’s attempt one to watch.

  7. Steve says:

    You should fix the link these people have for you:

    You are listed under blogroll and are linked by javascript to the RJ. Good they have kept your stuff available, bad your new stuff is not linked.

  8. They won't give me the time of day.

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