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Your Money Hard at Work: Solyndra Tubes Turned into Modern Art


"Goodbye tubes! Goodbye Solyndra! Goodbye fiscal sanity!"

The federal government’s $535 million investment in the now-bankrupt and utterly ruined "green" energy company Solyndra has been surrounded by scandal, intrigue, and many, many unanswered questions.

“One of the great mysteries of the 2011 Solyndra bankruptcy was: What happened to all that money? After the United States government ‘loaned’ Solyndra $535 million, the money quickly vanished; the bankruptcy court later found that the company had essentially no cash on hand. They had spent it all on equipment and inventory,” the blogger Zombie writes for PJ Media.

“Surely, then, the inventory could be sold and liquidated, to recover some of the ill-spent cash -- right?” Zombie asks.

You can probably guess the answer to that question.

“Auctions of the material at the shuttered Solyndra factory produced very little revenue, as the highly specialized machinery and proprietary photovoltaic components spurred little interest among the auction vultures, since the parts could be used only for one specific purpose: to make Solyndra’s unique tubular solar panels,” Zombie continues.

Now add to this the fact the Obama administration knew about the financial risks involved and you can see why many people have questioned the Department of Energy’s integrity over its decision to back the company. Were they incredibly misguided or was there something else going on?

Basically, and all questions about the DOE’s integrity aside, there is one thing we know for certain: We are never getting that money back.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, how about this: A whole bunch of those high-tech Solyndra tubes went on to become pieces in a modern art exhibition at U.C. Berkeley.


“[A] pair of Bay Area artists somehow managed to get their hands on some of the surviving Solyndra tubes and put them to good use ... not to produce electricity, but as art,” Zombie adds.

But what about the rest of the inventory? Surely, this can't be everything. Of course it isn't. The art exhibit only features 1,368 of an estimated 24 million Solyndra tubes. So where are the rest?

Well, although not many people know for sure where all of the Solyndra tubes have gone, we do know where some of them have ended up:

A San Francisco-based CBS affiliate has just released shocking video of Solyndra employees destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.

“At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week,”  CBS San Francisco reports. “They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.”

And it was even caught on tape [via CBS San Francisco]:

But not everything was destroyed. Aside from the hundreds of tubes used in the art exhibit, a few auction goers were able to rescue a few at various Solyndra auctions.


"[T]his is what became of our $535 million: Some glass tubes stuck in a box in the middle of a garden?" Zombie asks. "Goodbye tubes! Goodbye Solyndra! Goodbye fiscal sanity!"

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Click here to see Zombie's full report on the Solyndra art exhibit.

All photos courtesy PJ Media and Zombie

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