Stimulus-backed Solyndra files for Chapter 11

In a move that the company says will result in 1,100 layoffs, solar energy firm Solyndra announced its intent to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company shuttered its headquarters Wednesday.

In a statement, Solyndra announced that it was suspending manufacturing operations and seeking bankruptcy protection.

The company said Wednesday it would “evaluate options, including a sale of the business and licensing of its advanced CIGS [copper indium gallium diselenide] technology and manufacturing expertise” while in Chapter 11.

President Obama extended a $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. One significant Solyndra investor, George Kaiser, was also a major fundraiser for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

The Solyndra loan guarantee had been a flashpoint for critics of the Obama-backed stimulus package. The Energy Department initially estimated that the loan guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 1,000 manufacturing jobs.

On Wednesday Solyndra officials cited competition from foreign manufacturers and “regulatory and policy uncertainties” as hurting the company’s ability to raise capital.