The Department of Energy reached a settlement Thursday to recover $200 million in taxpayer funds from a loan the Obama administration distributed in 2011 to finance a $1 billion solar power plant that was deemed obsolete before it could officially go online.
H/T: Daily Caller
The settlement between DOE and Tonopah Solar Energy must now be approved by a bankruptcy court, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
The $1 billion Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant, which received $737 million in loan guarantees in 2011, has been offline since April 2019. The closure brought back memories of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra which received a $535 million federal loan guarantee in 2009 only to file for bankruptcy in 2011.
Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes announced the deal with the company, which still must be approved by a bankruptcy court, as a win for taxpayers in a statement to the Review-Journal.
“This project has consistently faced technical failures that have proven difficult to overcome. The department’s decision was made after years of exhausting options within our authority to get the project back on track, given the significant taxpayer investment the prior administration committed to this project,” Hynes said.
Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Energy agreed to issue loan guarantees for the Nye County project in September 2011, shortly after Solyndra shuttered and filed for bankruptcy. Solyndra became a source of embarrassment for a president who had visited the company’s Fremont plant in 2010 and declared, “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”
The Department of Energy on Thursday announced a deal to recover $200 million in taxpayer funds from Tonopah Solar Energy, a Nevada solar project that never showed a profit https://t.co/GEKeBoGeVt— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) July 30, 2020
DOE’s decision was made after years of exhausting options within our authority to get the project back on track, given the significant taxpayer investment the prior administration committed to this project. Read More: 👇 https://t.co/ULdXJDppin— Shaylyn Hynes (@ShayHynes) July 30, 2020
The Department of Energy announced that it had recovered some $200 million in taxpayer dollars loaned to a failed solar energy startup by the Obama administration.— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) July 30, 2020
Via @CharlesFLehman https://t.co/PsLnoH3PEo
What a diabolical waste of money giving those DOE loan guarantees to nuclear power among other technologies, all the loan guarantees should only have gone to solar power! 🤦🏻♂️https://t.co/6X3YKHxhti— Luke Weston (@lukeweston) July 31, 2020
Another HUGE FAILED solar plant project funded by Obama’s DOE, paid for by us, goes bust! See also Solyndra.— MissMAGA2016 (@MissMaga2016) July 30, 2020
Tonopah Solar Energy LLC received $737 MILLION in gov loans and just filed for bankruptcy. #GreenScam https://t.co/EoTDekjtci
'Tonopah Solar Energy LLC files for BK, still owes $425 million on its DOE loan, reached a settlement under which the department will recover at least $200 million. It has not operated since April 2019. The plant had been selling power at $139/MWh.'https://t.co/QojpWz0kSv— Commercial Solar Guy (@SolarInMASS) July 31, 2020
For the first time in nearly 70 years, the United States has become a net energy exporter!— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 30, 2020
We are the number one producer of oil and natural gas on Earth 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/bkPItr4bGy