Solyndra employees: Company suffered from mismanagement, heavy spending
It appears insane spending of our tax dollars killed Solyndra.
Former employees of Solyndra, the shuttered solar company that exhausted half a billion dollars of taxpayer money, said they saw questionable spending by management almost as soon as a federal agency approved a $535 million government-backed loan for the start-up.
A new factory built with public money boasted a gleaming conference room with glass walls that, with the flip of a switch, turned a smoky gray to conceal the room’s occupants. Hastily purchased state-of-the-art equipment ended up being sold for pennies on the dollar, still in its plastic wrap, employees said.
As the $344 million factory went up just down the road from the company’s leased plant in Fremont, Calif., workers watched as pallets of unsold solar panels stacked up in storage. Many wondered: Was the factory needed?
‘After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right,’ said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. ‘Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.’