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Emails suggest White House involvement in loan to bankrupt Abound Solar

Congress has also launched an investigation into Abound Solar and has sent Energy Secretary Steven Chu a letter asking him to provide documents and information regarding what the Energy Department knew about the troubled company.

“Recent reports and publicly available documents indicate that persistent technological problems contributed to Abound’s inability to remain commercially viable and ultimately, its bankruptcy,” said the letter to Chu.

“We need to know, did the Department of Energy — did they close on the loan when they knew there were technical problems with the product?” Republican Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner said. “The fact that we have taxpayers on the hook for $70 million means that we, in Congress, have a responsibility to make sure nothing was done improperly.”

Abound Solar suffered from major technical problems well before it received the $400 million loan guarantee. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation, using internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound, revealed that the company was selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.

“Our solar modules worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” an internal source told The DCNF.

The company knew its panels were faulty prior to obtaining taxpayer dollars, according to sources, but kept pushing product out the door in order to meet Energy Department goals required by the company’s $400 million loan guarantee.

“The DOE hurt us more than anything,” another source told The DCNF, referring to the Energy Department’s production and revenue metrics.

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