The company, which was host to a high-profile visit from President Obama in May 2010, intends to file for Chapter 11 while it evaluates options, including a sale of the business and licensing of its technology.
Despite what it calls “strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops,” the company says its could not achieve full-scale operations quickly enough to compete with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers.
“This competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that finance solar systems,” Solyndra said in a statement.
Reuters blames competition from low-cost Chinese solar manufacturers for the company’s bankruptcy and reports that Solyndra is the third major solar manufacturer to seek bankruptcy protection in the past month. Evergreen Solar filed for Chapter 11 two weeks ago. Four days later SpectraWatt Inc followed suit, the news agency said.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee has been investigating a $535 million loan guarantee made to Solyndra by the U.S. Department of Energy in the spring of 2009.
“It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment,” said committee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), in response to the bankruptcy announcement.