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|Tim Harris (CEO) |
Ryan Benton (CFO)
SoloPower is a solar energy company developing and manufacturing Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) Thin-film flexible Photo-voltaic Solar Panels. The company uses a special electroplating technology to utilize nearly 100% of its materials.
SoloPower is based in San Jose, California, and has achieved the distinction of being the first company to obtain UL Certification of CIGS flexible solar panels in 2010. This was lauded as a significant achievement by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later the same year, the company also received IEC Certification (IEC 61646 and 61730) of its flexible CIGS solar panels, again an industry first. In March 2012, the company's modules set a world record aperture efficiency of 13.4% for flexible CIGS Solar Panels, as measured by NREL.
SoloPower was founded by Bulent Basol and Homayoun Talieh in 2005. The company started its pilot manufacturing line in December of the same year. In 2010, the company secured $45 million in debt financing and used $19.9 million of that to acquire the shares of ousted founders Talieh and Basol.
In 2010, SoloPower held talks with the town of Wilsonville, Oregon to set up a manufacturing plant there. In 2011, the United States Department of Energy approved a $197 Million Loan Guarantee to the company, enabling a 400MW manufacturing plant in Oregon. In May 2011, SoloPower decided to move the manufacturing facility to Portland instead. In April, 2013, SoloPower announced plans to suspend operations at the Portland plant and gut the remaining workforce.
The company closed its doors in later 2017 and no longer operational.
The Norwegian firms Convexa Capital, Spencer Energy and Scatec have invested approximately $30 Million into SoloPower in 2007. The United States Department of Energy funded the company with $197 million from the same program that funded Solyndra, as have the City of Portland and agencies in the State of Oregon, which provided $56.5 million, and the California Energy Commission. In early 2011, the company received $13.5 Million from Crosslink Capital. Lead investors in the company include Hudson Clean Energy Partners, Crosslink Capital, Convexa, and Firsthand.
Governments pay for defaults
The City of Portland pays $119,000 per month until late 2020 to cover for SoloPower's default on a loan the City guaranteed under Mayor Sam Adams in 2011. The money is taken out of Portland's Bureau of Transportation. The Bureau of Transportation pays because parking-meter revenue was used as guaranty.
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- SoloPower, Inc. (7 September 2010). "SoloPower Is First Ever to Receive UL Certification for a Flexible CIGS... -- SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ --". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "SoloPower earns pair of IEC certifications for flexible CIGS thin-film PV module". Pv-tech.org. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
-  Archived March 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived April 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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- Mary Duan (19 February 2010). "SoloPower ends ex-CEO suit with $19.9M payment". Silicon Valley American City Business Journals. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
SoloPower Inc. used a portion of a new $44.9 million debt financing to buy out the shares of co-founder and ousted CEO Homayoun Talieh.
- Ehren Goossens (17 February 2011). "U.S. Offers $197 Million Loan Guarantee for SoloPower Plant in Oregon". Bloomberg. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "SoloPower to announce plans for $340 million North Portland solar panel plant". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "SoloPower moves to power down Portland factory, gut remaining workforce". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
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-  Archived August 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- https://web.archive.org/web/20110405074721/http://www.solopower.com/red_herring_071207.html. Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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-  Archived April 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Maria Gallucci (9 October 2012). "Is SoloPower the next Solyndra, or a solar power 'American success story'?". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
a crucial step in getting its $197 million loan guarantee from the federal government. The money would flow from the same taxpayer-supported program that bet on bankrupt solar firm Solyndra.
- Nichola Groom (24 September 2012). "U.S. poised to hand over $197 million to another solar panel start-up". Reuters. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
The DOE payments to SoloPower will come on top of the $56.5 million SoloPower has collected in loans, tax credits and incentives from the state of Oregon and the city of Portland
- Bonner R. Cohen (26 November 2018). "FAILED OREGON SOLAR EQUIPMENT PLANT LEAVES BEHIND MILLIONS IN TAXPAYER LOSSES". The Heartland Institute. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
n 2010 the U.S. Department of Energy loaned SoloPower $10 million. Business Oregon, a state agency, granted SoloPower $20 million in tax credits. The City of Portland agreed to cover half of SoloPower’s debt to the state, provided the solar-panel factory was located within the city’s limits, while Multnomah County, where Portland is located, declared the company’s factory site was in an enterprise zone, freeing the company from paying property taxes as long as it met certain job creation requirements. By August 2011, the Obama administration increased is commitment to the project, furnishing $197 million in DOE loan guarantees to the company, and the California Energy Commission loaned the company nearly $5 million.
- "Flexible solar panel maker SoloPower raises $13.5M". VentureBeat. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "SoloPower Sets Record for Flexible CIGS Solar Panel Efficiency". Eon.businesswire.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- Nick Budnick (24 August 2017). "Portland Tribune". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
Though the company already owed the state agency more than $8 million, energy officials recently paid off the company's back rent for a combined $640,00
- Jeff Manning (23 August 2018). "State agency kept shoveling money to SoloPower to bitter end". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
Oregon answered. The state that already had given the Portland company $13.5 million in tax credits, $10 million in direct financial assistance and millions of dollars' worth of tax breaks ponied up another $641,835 in rent.
- Jessica Floum (15 June 2017). "Portland to foot SoloPower's bill after company defaults on $10 million loan". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
Portland will now have to make $119,000 monthly payments toward the company's debt through October 2020 because former Mayor Sam Adams agreed in 2011 to guarantee $5 million of the state loan. The money will come from Portland's Bureau of Transportation
- "Taxpayer dollars heaped on SoloPower problem". East Oregonian. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
Portland was on the hook for its $5 million to the state. It will be paying that off until October 2020.
- Beth Slovic (30 March 2012). "Mayor Sam Adams praised 'unusual' financing on SoloPower, model now for Columbia Biogas: Portland City Hall roundup". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
Adams praised city officials, including Transportation Bureau Director Tom Miller, for using the same parking-meter mechanism to backstop the financing for SoloPower's new plant in Portland. "The Portland Bureau of Transportation was very flexible and willing to be a partner on this unusual backstop," Adams said