Abound Solar, a Loveland, Colo.-based solar panel manufacturer that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, has announced it will suspend operations next week and file for bankruptcy protection, the Associated Press reported. Abound borrowed about $70 million from the feds before the DOE froze its credit line last year.
California solar panel maker Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last year, received a $528 million loan guarantee through the same DOE program, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
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Abound said its panels were too expensive to compete with Chinese panels, according to the AP. "Aggressive pricing actions from Chinese solar panel companies have made it very difficult for an early-stage startup company like Abound to scale in current market conditions," the company said in a statement.
The price of solar panels fell by half last year, due in part to stepped-up Chinese competition, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Abound’s bankruptcy announcement “is not surprising at all,” Anthony Kim, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “They were trying to sell to a competitive, over-supplied market with limited production. That keeps costs high.”
Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Energy Department, said that Abound’s failure won’t stop the Obama administration from pushing for clean energy, the AP reported, "Americans invented solar technology, and with the right support our companies can out-innovate and out-build any competitor, anywhere in the world," LaVera said.
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