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Another Gov't-Backed Clean Energy Co. Touted by Obama Admin Goes Bankrupt


"...we also believe that the energy future of the United States is based on alternative energy..."

A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

"Solar Trust of America LLC...holds the development rights for the world's largest solar power project," Reuters reports, "which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project [emphasis added]."

Solar Trust of America’s Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.

"We have been working with Solar Trust of America for a couple of years in getting this project going," David Lane, Blythe's city manager, said in an interview with Reuters. "Although the project is not in the city limits, we are the only city within 100 miles. My sense is that with the large investment in what was to have been the world's largest solar power plant, someone somewhere will buy it and build it."

The company said it “ran short of liquidity” after Solar Millennium AG, which holds a 70 percent stake, sought court protection in December, according to Reuters.

“Solar Millennium then tried to sell that stake to solarhybrid AG, but that transaction collapsed when solarhybrid also sought court protection in Germany,” the report adds.

The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Gov. Jerry Brown were on hand last June when Solar Trust broke ground on a 1,000-megawatt project in California.

“This groundbreaking today needs to be viewed in the context of the energy blueprint for the United States of America, which president Obama has been working at,” Salazar said in 2011.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar & California’s Governor Jerry Brown

“We believe we can secure the energy future of the United States of America by doing the right things with domestic development of oil and gas both onshore and offshore in the right places and in the right way. But we also believe that the energy future of the United States is based on alternative energy, and there is no better example than what we are doing here in California,” he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story has been updated.

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