SunEdison, which bills itself as the world’s largest green energy company, may soon file for bankruptcy protection, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, as the company faces “liquidity difficulties” despite getting millions in government subsidies.
An SEC filing from TerraForm Global, a unit of SunEdison, claims “due to SunEdison’s liquidity difficulties, there is a substantial risk that SunEdison will soon seek bankruptcy protection.” Both SunEdison and TerraForm are delaying the filing of their annual financial report to the SEC.
News of SunEdison’s impending bankruptcy filing comes after the company’s shares fell 95 percent in the past 12 months, with shares now trading for less than $1 for the first time since the green energy company went public in 1995. SunEdison’s market value fell from $10 billion in July 2015 to around $400 million today.
The news also comes after the SEC announced it was launching an investigation into SunEdison’s disclosures to shareholders regarding the company’s liquidity. SEC enforcement officials “are looking into whether SunEdison overstated its liquidity last fall when it told investors it had more than $1 billion in cash,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
SunEdison builds “advanced solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power systems,” according to the company’s website. But this solar company has gotten millions from U.S. taxpayers.
The pro-labor union group Good Jobs First reported last year that SunEdison and its subsidiaries got nearly $650 million in subsidies and tax credits from the federal government since 2000. It was the 13th most heavily-subsidized company in America.
This includes nearly $4.6 million in subsidies from the Department of Energy and Department of Treasury. Watchdog.org reported in October 2015 that SunEdison had gotten nearly $4.6 million from the Obama administration, including funding to build semi-conductors.
SunEdison isn’t the only green energy company to fail after getting generous taxpayer support. Abengoa, a Spanish green firm, has been in dire financial straits for months, and recently got a 7-month deadline to right its finances from a Spanish bankruptcy judge.
In total, Abengoa has gotten more than $605 million in taxpayer support, according to Good Jobs First.
The most iconic green energy failures, Solyndra and Abound Solar, cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.Solyndra got $535 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration, but declared bankruptcy in 2011. Abound Solar declared bankruptcy in 2012 after drawing down on $70 million of its $400 million loan guarantee from the federal government.
A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation based on internal documents and testimony from sources within Abound Solar found the company was knowingly selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.
The company knew its panels were faulty prior to obtaining taxpayer dollars, according to sources, but kept pushing the product out the door in order to meet Department of Energy goals required for their $400 million loan guarantee.
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