Since the finalization of three DOE loan guarantees at a price tag of over $3 billion of taxpayer money, First Solar has "experienced serious financial problems," in October 2011 fired their CEO Robert Gillette (replaced by former CEO and company founder Mike Ahearn), suffered from declining stock value, and back in April 2012, you guessed it, "laid off 2,000 workers and closed factories." If that wasn't bad enough, now in May, "the firm announced a massive round of furloughs," but it gets more convoluted... 
Follow the Obama Bundlers and Donors –– First Solar Investors
First Solar was an early investment of Goldman Sachs, the number two Top Obama Donor  that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign –– not to mention the Obama administration "is infested" with Goldman Sachs executives.

Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee –– Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 Obama bundlers. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2009, Obama’s Wall Street Buddies, "Ms. Scully raised $100,000, but didn’t make any large donations personally; Mr. Heyman bundled $50,000 in donations, including a $10,000 contribution he made and Goldman executive, David Heller, donated $25,000."

NOTE: JPEG is what I found during my research in 2010 and 2011 (Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets),
which is no longer available on the Goldman Sachs site.

Also, in Peter Schweizer’s New York Times bestseller, Throw Them All Out, is recorded more interesting data on First Solar. For example, another First Solar investor is billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who was a 2008 Obama bundler, and the CEO of First Solar, Michael Ahearn, "gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats."

Troubled First Solar Under Extreme Oversight Heat,  Including its CEO Michael Ahearn
Speaking of Mr. Ahearn, during the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing, CA Representative Darrell Issa surmised that First Solar is "not an American company." It turns out that the numbers don't lie because Ahearn admitted, "in sheer numbers, most of our full time [employees] are outside the US." Yep folks, the majority of the jobs that the DOE funded with taxpayer money are going oversees.  

More outrageous information came out of a brutal "House Oversight" confrontation, where Mr. Ahearn, admitted to selling over 700,000 shares in August 2011, of which he personally raked in a whopping $68.5 million! Yet, according to, this has been going on for a while, "between 2008 and 2012 –– a period when First Solar’s stock value dropped by almost 95 percent –– Ahearn sold over $450 million of his own company’s stock."  

Yet, two weeks after this hearing, where Ahearn had told members of the House Oversight committee that his company “remains financially strong and well positioned to execute through the current market environment," First Solar announced that they have "furloughed half of the 240-person workforce at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One (AVSR1) power plant near Los Angeles" as reported by The Washington Free Beacon –– FIRST SOLAR FURLOUGH.
Oh, but as Fist Solar sinks and taxpayers lose, the CEO Ahearn is not the only one cashing in. Another Obama ally, a member of  “Patriotic Millionaires” (a group of wealthy Obama supporters backing the president’s effort to raise taxes on high-earners), is "Ultra-wealthy Obama supporter Whitney Tilson" –– again unraveled by The Washington Free Beacon just today. It turns out that "One of the few “winners” in Tilson’s portfolio was his short position in First Solar, a company on the brink of collapse despite receiving more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration." 

And, the DOE is not the only government agency that played favorites with First Solar...

First Solar has been facing scrutiny by the Senate Budget Committee over the fact they are part of the "Special Solar Seven" that in March 2009 "received fast-tracked approval by the Department of Interior (DOI) to lease federal lands in a no-bid process," story also tracked by The Washington Free Beacon.  As reported last week by the Washington Examiner, "Lawmakers fear that several politically connected green energy companies received special treatment from the Interior and Energy departments due to their relationship with Obama. [Last November], they focused their inquiry on six companies in particular: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, NextEra Energy Resources and SolarReserve." However, as of late, President Obama's Interior Department –– Interior Secretary Ken Salazar –– is "following the same playbook" as Energy Secretary Steven Chu: "stall, and give Congress as little information and documentation as possible." 

First Solar and Energy Secretary Chu's "DOE's Junk Bond Portfolio"
First Solar is not directly in the "DOE junk bond inventory" that I reported on in April (Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism ––..., but are they are linked to three of the projects on that list. 
  1. Agua Caliente, Arizona –– Rating BB+ by Fitch, Aug 2011 for $967 million –– was purchased by NRG Solar, LLC, and a subsidiary of NRG Energy. It turns out that the plant would supply power to PG&E, and be made with panels from the Temp-based First Solar inc. See my NRG and George Soros post, BREAKING: NRG Energy on the DOE Cronyism Hot Seat, Also Tied to Geo... Also, electricity from Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co, (another Big Energy firm making BANK off of green energy, including government subsidies that just so happens to be politically connected to the president and the Democrat party)
  2. Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch, Sept 2011 for $646 million –– was purchased by Exelon Corp, yet First Solar, which developed the project, "will build, operate, and maintain the project." Interesting that Exelon Corp. was another 2008 Obama donor, and the AVR project has a 25-year purchase power agreement from PG&E as well.
  3. Desert Sunlight, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch; Sept 2011 for $1.2 billion (or $1.46 billion –– was sold to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy s.... Yet, the September announcement also states that, "First Solar will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements." Coincidentally, both CEO's are on President Obama's Job Council, Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jeffrey Immelt of GE (another top Obama donor, donating a whopping $529,855 to his 2008 campaign and reaping billions of green-energy dollars), and there is much to report on both GE and NextEra, in the near future. 
Initially, the DOE had granted conditional loans guarantees to three First Solar projects totaling over  $4.5 billion, yet First Solar's Topaz project located in San Luis Obispo, CA (for $1.5 billion) was not finalized. Later the Topaz project was purchased by (Obama buddy") Warren Buffet for $2 billion, and somehow the Agua Caliente project ended up snagging that $967 million loan guarantee, thus giving First Solar over $3 billion of green-government loans.
First Solar came under extreme heat in the House Oversight Investigation –– "The First Solar Scheme" (pp. 29-38), noting a series of violations and application misrepresentation as wells as "persistent pressure" with even a "threatening" letter to Jonathan Silver documented. And Silver, the former DOE Loan Adviser, according to WSJ Barron’s Magazine (July 10, 2010), had been a managing partner at Core Capital Partners in Washington. Coincidentally, one of Silver's colleagues there was Tom Wheeler, another Obama-Biden fund 2008 bundler. While Silver was supposed to help Chu accelerate loan reviews, he resigned from the DOE this year, amidst the Solyndra Scandal.
Also, within the pages the report released last month by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, evidence emerged "indicating that DOE manipulated analysis and strategically modified evaluations in order to get the [First Solar] loans out the door."
Goldman Sachs DNA all Over "Green" 
Besides First Solar, there are two more Goldman investments that happen to be on the "DOE junk bond list" that received government loans:
  • Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs), which had a "B Rating" by Fitch, in September 2011 snagged a $90.6 million DOE loan for a solar site in Colorado. 
  • U.S. Geothermal, Inc (Malheur County, Oregon) with a "BB Rating" by S&P, in February 2011 got a $97 million DOE loan. Schweizer' book notes that Goldman Sachs is the second largest shareholder of U.S. Geothermal. Yet, in 2010 I found more green-government subsidies for U.S. Geothermal...

Since my 2010 and 2011 research, it seems that Goldman Sachs' website has gone through a makeover, and their “Environmental Markets Financing and Advisory ” section clients include at least two green firms that stand out immediately. Both were also recipients of millions of DOE money and have meaningful connections to President Obama, the DOE, and Democrats

While this opens up a need to unveil more "Big Green Favored Portfolios," and much more, here is a snippet:
  • Tesla Motors IPO: Obama Bundler and DOE Advisor, Steven Westly snagged a $465 million ATVM DOE loan (one of five), and in 2011 was tagged as the "Green bundler with the golden touch." While IWatch points to "a trail of [green] loans, grants and tax breaks," I found more –– as of January 2012, over 40% (and counting) of The Westly Group portfolio were winners in the "Obama's Green Spending Spree."
  • Amyris, Inc. IPO: Not only is this company a Westly investment, but also a Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures investment –– both comprise of "heavy-weight" Obama supporters, whose firms snagged multiple green-government contracts, another trail we will expose in due time. Also, according to Peter Schweizer, "California Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband invested $1 million into Amyris Biotechnologies just weeks prior to the company receiving a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE)." 

Furthermore, it has been reported that Goldman Sachs is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for Solyndra, and in June 2009, SpectraWatt, another Goldman Sachs investment, received a $500,000 grant from National Renewable Energy Lab via the stimulus. However, SpectraWatt filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but not before giving "five company executives, including Richard J. Haug, SpectraWatt's President and COO, six-figure 'insider payments' totaling more than $745,000," a very disturbing trend that seems to accompany many taxpayer-funded green firms that go bust!   

Back in 2009 –– since the passing of President Obama's Taxpayer Funded Stimulus Spending Spree, of which over $80 billion was earmarked for alternative energy –– is when I began following the green money. At that time, I uncovered some riveting revelations and connections about Goldman Sachs. But what I found most fascinating came from Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone Magazine piece and video, where he exposed Goldman Sachs' "long-standing and very deep ties to the Democratic Party," and their "long history of putting their former employees in Democratic administrations."


Much more on this huge piece of the Green Corruption scandal –– CLICK HERE to continue...

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