A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.
Satcon Technology Corp. announced the decision in a Wednesday news release. “This has been a difficult time for Satcon,” president and CEO Steve Rhoades said. “After careful consideration of available alternatives, the Company’s Board of Directors determined that the Chapter 11 filings were a necessary and prudent step, allowing the Company to continue to operate while giving us the opportunity to reorganize with a stronger balance sheet and capital structure.”
Satcon received a $3 million DOE grant in January to develop “a compact, lightweight power conversion device that is capable of taking utility-scale solar power and outputting it directly into the electric utility grid at distribution voltage levels—eliminating the need for large transformers.”
“If successful,” noted DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) at the time, “Satcon would simplify the solar power conversion process and significantly reduce the cost of operating, installing, and siting a PV power system—helping to facilitate their widespread use.”
ARPA-E also stated that the grant “could create jobs for system installers, technicians, and salespeople.”
Satcon has also received smaller federal payments for various solar initiatives at DOE. The company manufactures power conversion devices for solar energy, though it does not manufacture the solar panels themselves.
Satcon is the second DOE-backed green energy company to declare bankruptcy this week. As Scribe’s Michael Sandoval reported on Tuesday, electric vehicle battery manufacturer A123 Systems filed for Chapter 11 despite receiving a $249 million DOE grant.
A123 and Satcon mark the latest in a long line of taxpayer-funded green energy failures. Heritage’s Ashe Schow lays out the full list in a new report on the Foundry.