Founder: Christian Gronet
Year Founded: 2005
Year Defunct: 2011
Solyndra designed, manufactured, and sold solar photovoltaic (PV) systems composed of panels and mounting hardware for large, low-slope commercial rooftops. The panels perform optimally when mounted horizontally and packed closely together, the company claimed, covering significantly more of the typically available roof area and producing more electricity per rooftop on an annual basis than a conventional panel installation.
The solar panels developed by the company were claimed to be unlike any other product ever tried in the industry. The panels were made of racks of cylindrical tubes (also called tubular solar panels), as opposed to traditional flat panels. Solyndra rolled its CIGS thin films into a cylindrical shape and placed 40 of them in each 1-meter-by-2-meter panel. Solyndra designers thought the cylindrical solar panels absorbed energy from any direction (direct, indirect, and reflected light).
Solyndra was led by Brian Harrison, a veteran of Intel Corporation. He took the reins on July 27, 2010, when founder Chris Gronet was replaced as CEO.Major investors included George Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Virgin Green Fund, Madrone Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Argonaut Private Equity, Masdar and Artis Capital Management.In 2009, the company posted $100 million in revenue. It was estimated that its production and sales growth could lead to a market cap between $1.76 and 2 billion.
Between 2009 and mid-2011 the price of polysilicon, the key ingredient for most competing technologies, dropped by about 89%. This precipitous drop in the cost of raw materials for Solyndra's competitors rendered CIGS technology incapable of competing, and other factors, including a contemporaneous drop in the price of natural gas, together with the faltering of the corresponding financial models, also contributed to Solyndra's demise. On August 31, 2011, Solyndra announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, laying off 1,100 employees, and shutting down all operations and manufacturing.
In September 2011 the company ceased all business activity, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, and laid off all employees. The company was also sued by employees who were abruptly laid off. Solyndra was raided by the FBI investigating the company. Federal agents visited the homes of Brian Harrison, the company's CEO, and Chris Gronet, the company's founder, to examine computer files and documents. Also, in September 2011, the US Department of the Treasury launched an investigation. Bloomberg reported in 2011 that Solyndra's $733 million plant had whistling robots and spa showers, along with many other signs of extravagant spending.
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.: Premium fit
.: 100% Soft cotton (fiber content may vary for different colors)
.: Light fabric (4.3 oz/yd² (146 g/m²))
.: Tear away label
.: Runs bigger than usual