Commentary

Another Solar Company Can't Take The Heat, Closes Despite $10 Million In Stimulus

By Joe Schoffstall | April 8, 2013 | 4:57pm EDT

A Pittsburgh, Pa. solar energy company has shut its doors four years after receiving nearly $10.2 million in tax credits from the Obama Administration as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Flabeg Solar U.S. Corp., a $30 million solar plant located near the Pittsburgh International Airport, opened its doors in 2009 and was said to provide 300 jobs. Now, just four years later, the plant has shut down and laid off more than 60 workers. In addition to this, 10 of its former employees have petitioned a federal judge for severance pay after they lost their jobs last month, according to PA Independent.

Robert Lampl, the attorney for Flabeg, said the company would probably seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from the workers who are suing over their severance pay.

In addition to the $10 million received in stimulus funds, the state and Allegheny County added an additional $9 million in job creation grants, loans, and other financial aid to help launch the plant, bringing the total to $20 million in assistance to the company.

Over the past several years, multiple solar companies have gone bankrupt - the most notable being Solyndra, the California solar firm, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy before going bankrupt in 2011.

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