I spoke with an ex-Solyndra employee soon after the unceremonious layoff performed by the bankrupt company in August. He was still in shock, but was quite sure that the company would be bought intact, and would soon be churning out double glass cylinders filled with a bag and a fluid and coated with CIGS for a lucky buyer, most likely an Asian conglomerate.
That didn't seem likely then and it seems even less likely now.
Yesterday, Solyndra said in bankruptcy court that no qualified bidders have emerged and that the remains of the company -- intellectual property, equipment, and real estate -- would have to be sold in separate auctions. An "extremely low-ball" bid was made, according to chief restructuring officer Todd Neilson, quoted by the Associated Press, but "it was mainly designed to take the equipment and the real estate at an extraordinarily low price."
Neilsen said, in the same AP piece, that fewer than five foreign bidders are still performing due diligence -- but it is "highly unlikely" that a buyer willing to restart the factory's production would emerge.
Congress has had its day with Solyndra, although the CEO and CFO are not out of the hot seat. Steve Chu has been compelled to testify and he held his ground on the loan guarantee decision-making process. Jonathan Silver has left his post as head of the DOE loan guarantee program. The impropriety surrounding executive bonuses at the firm has been revealed. Songs have been composed.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, ex-employees of the fallen solar firm are eligible to receive $14.3 million in "Trade Adjustment Assistance," monies meant to help workers in the U.S. who have lost their jobs because of foreign countries engaged in unfair trade practices. That works out to $13,000 per employee. It's arguable whether unfair trade practices are what doomed Solyndra. Hubris, willful ignorance and a cloistered mentality were more likely the culprits in Solyndra's demise.
The remains of the company will be disposed of, ex-employees are moving on to new employment, Fox News is moving on to the next Obama scandal while Congress finds its next diversion. Solyndra will always haunt the Obama administration, but even bad spirits fade.