For Sale: Banner That Greeted Obama at Solyndra
A banner that greeted President Obama on his 2010 visit to California solar energy start-up Solyndra was to be a memento of the presidential push which helped get the company off the ground.
Now it’s up for auction, part of a trove of Solyndra assets for sale after the company filed for bankruptcy, all relics of a federal loan program gone awry.
A website for the auction company Heritage Global Partners lists the banner among dozens of computers, pieces of office furniture, robots, even electron microscopes worth $500,000 or more.
The seven-foot-by-30-foot banner featuring an American flag and heralding Solyndra and “Made in the USA,” a backdrop for Obama’s tour, has yet to receive any bids, according to the auction website.
More than 1,000 potential buyers have already signed up to view the Solyndra property, auction house partner Kirk Dove told San Francisco ABC television affiliate KGO.
“It could be solar panel manufacturers looking for extra capacity and need manufacturing equipment, it could be wholesalers of finished good products because we’re selling finished good panels. It can also be buyers of household items, of office furnishings, personal computers,” Dove said. “There’s biopharma equipment. There’s electronic test equipment.”
The federal government awarded $500 million in grants to help the solar panel maker get started. But now, little if any of that money is expected to be recovered for taxpayers. More than 1,000 workers also lost their jobs at the company when it abruptly shut down in August.
Obama has defended the Solyndra loan, which had been the poster child of the administration’s green jobs push, telling ABC News last month that “hindsight is always 20/20.”
“It went through the regular review process, and people felt like this was a good bet,” he said.
The White House has since ordered a review of the entire Energy Department loan program. House Republicans are conducting a separate investigation into the Solyndra affair.