“The path to a clean energy economy starts here, in places like SunPower’s research and development facility . . . .” Ken Salazar Interior Secretary
“How exactly did SunPower qualify to receive a $1.28 Billion loan when it was operating $820 million in the red; announcing three weeks before the loan that it was moving a huge amount of its jobs south of the border to Mexicali, Mexico; its stock has lost 94% of its value in the last four years; and it was being attacked by numerous shareholder lawsuits? How did such an obvious lemon receive more than twice the government handouts that Solyndra received?”
SunPower Stock Plummets 94%
Green Co. Gets $1.2 Billion Loan
Each SunPower Permanent Job
As you might remember, the Obama administration’s green-tech jobs initiative was supposed to create five million brand new jobs. As you also might know, for almost three years Rajjpuut has been comparing Obama’s idea for America to the green jobs program in Spain that took that country’s economy from #1 in Europe at 4% unemployment to Europe’s second worst in 2010 with a whopping 22% unemployment after a dozen years. In that Spanish study each subsidized green job cost 2.2 real jobs lost from the real economy (five million Obama green jobs would translate to losing eleven million real jobs) and only one Spanish green job in ten proved permanent (translating to only half a million permanent green jobs created in America).
You’ve also recently heard about Solyndra Corp. getting $535 million in loan guarantees before going bankrupt last month putting 1,100 workers out on the streets; as well as hearing about a grand total of 3,500 green jobs created in almost three years at an average cost of almost $11 million per job. Well, the embarrassment for Obama’s green tech initiative is growing worse by the day: the new Obamanation and corruption, like Solyndra, also originates in California with another solar panel company SunPower Corp. (SPWR-NASDAQ).
How exactly did SunPower qualify to receive a $1.28 Billion loan when it was operating $820 million in the red; announcing three weeks before the loan that it was moving a huge amount of its jobs south of the border to Mexicali, Mexico; its stock has lost 94% of its value in the last four years; and it was being attacked by numerous shareholder lawsuits? How did such an obvious lemon receive more than twice the government handouts that Solyndra received?
SunPower’s planned photovoltaic “electricity ranch” project was so deep in the hole that it had announced it was already building its new panel manufacturing plant in Mexicali when the loan came through. Creating jobs in Mexico? When did that become worth nearly $1.3 Billion in government help? Three key voices put SunPower into the “winner” category for Obama’s energy department and got them the loan: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; California Democratic Representative George R. Miller III; and SunPower lobbyist George Miller IV, the Representative’s son.
SunPower, operating in a refitted Ford plant in Richmond, CA, was the scene of an October 14, 2010 tour of the plant choreographed by Rep. Miller (the elder) in which its CEO, Thomas H. Werner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saluted SunPower’s future. “The path to a clean energy economy starts here, in places like SunPower’s research and development facility,” said Salazar during the tour. Miller (the younger) is accused of drumming up campaign contributions for his father from SunPower. Salazar continued, “The work that comes from these facilities transforms renewable energy ideas into a reality. When renewable energy companies continue to invest in places like California, the realization of a new energy future is within our reach.”
Rep. Miller the Elder added his own smoke . . . “We’ve worked hard to make renewable energy a priority because it represents America’s future economic growth. Today, businesses like SunPower are moving forward, hiring 200 people for good clean energy jobs in the East Bay.” According to the SunPower PAC filings in the 2010 midterm election campaign cycle, SunPower donated $15,650 donated to House and Senate candidates, $14,650 went to Democrats, with the top recipient: $4,000 to Sen. Harry Reid, the Democrats Senate Majority Leader. Sunpower also gave Miller, the Elder, $500 and gave his son a job.
The loan guarantee was earmarked to create 350 temporary and 15 permanent jobs at the California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) in San Luis Obispo County. One wonders if the 15 permanent jobs are for panel-dusting janitors. The math works out to $80 million for each SunPower job, about seven times higher than the $10.88 million average cost per Obama green job. How bad an investment is SunPower? The tiny company was listed as the “ninth-most-shorted solar stock in either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ markets. Short sellers are betting that a stock price will go down, as opposed to those who buy long, who expect a stock price to up.
In early December, 2007, SunPower sold for $133 per share. Earlier this month the company was selling for $6.60 per share; it is now selling in a range between $8-$9 per share. The company has been accused of numerous accounting irregularities purportedly to deceive its stockholders; and at present several lawsuits have been filed in California courts relating to allege gross mismanagement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, unjust enrichment and abuse of control. The first of these lawsuits was in November, 2009, and so far no suit has yet been resolved.
Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,