- Founded: 2005
- Ceased Operations: 2011
What did Solyndra do?
Solyndra was a solar energy company that designed, manufactured, and sold cylindrical panels of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film solar cells. Solyndra’s technology was based on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), a type of thin-film solar cell. CIGS cells are more efficient than traditional silicon solar cells, but they are also more expensive to produce. Solyndra’s goal was to reduce the cost of manufacturing CIGS cells so that they would be competitive with silicon solar cells.
Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009. This loan guarantee allowed Solyndra to build a new factory and scale up its production. Solyndra raised over $1.6 billion from investors such as U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures and Argonaut Private Equity.
Who started Solyndra?
Founder Chris Gronet
Why did Solyndra go out of business?
Solyndra’s solar cells were more expensive to produce than those of its competitors, which made it difficult for the company to compete in the market. Chinese solar manufacturers were able to produce solar cells at a lower cost than Solyndra, which made it even more difficult for the company to compete.
The demand for solar cells was weaker than expected in the years leading up to Solyndra’s bankruptcy. The Obama administration cut funding for Solyndra’s loan guarantee program, which made it more difficult for the company to raise money. The failure of Solyndra was a major setback for the Obama administration’s clean energy program.