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Monday, August 22, 2011

SoloPower now talking two Portland facilities

On Friday, the solar power cell manufacturer that's getting around $57 million of state and local handouts to locate in Portland finalized a $197 million loan guarantee from the federal Energy Department. That should clear the way for SoloPower to start building its Portland manufacturing plant somewhere in the Rivergate Industrial Park sometime next month.

But in the latest announcement -- replete with a quote from Gatsby Wyden -- comes news that SoloPower is planning to build not just one but two buildings in Portland. The official company announcement calls them "two new facilities," and a news story about the federal loan refers to "two new sites." It's not clear exactly what's going on where, but we expect a groundbreaking soon on at least one building, no doubt with Gatsby, the retread governor, and the mayor, among others, on the shovels.

We just noticed that part of the City of Portland subsidy to SoloPower is going to be $5 million in loan guarantees, backed by Portland parking meter revenue. Those meters sure do pop up in the funniest places, don't they?

Comments (14)

Isn't it funny how environmental concerns about the handling of industrial metals goes out the window with the use of the magical word "green"? Lets check back in a year and see if SoloPower is still in business. Then... lets check back in a decade to see how they are handling their toxic waste.

Check back in a year or two and if they are still around see if they haven't moved operations to Asia.

Paying with parking meters is very ironic. All those who want a bike-only world wont be able to finance solar power.

I heard a rumor that parking meters are coming to residential neighborhood streets. Is it true?

If they would make their solar cells using cadmium telluride, then you would have an environmental problem. I understand that that form of solar is actually banned in Europe. The plant proposed for Gresham, which backed out, was going to use that technology.

Europe also decided not to go with ethanol fuels because of hidden environmental damage and cost to human life, off-the-radar factors coveniently ignored by our politicians who aim to silence noisy mob-informed activists while pursuing profitable backroom arrangements.

Yes, Robert, cadmium can be a very nasty material...if you happen to be a living creature. (If you're a metal component and don't want to corrode it is wonderful.) But keep in mind the quote attributed to Paracelsus:

"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous."

"Steven Chu announced that the DOE has finalized a $197 million (USD) loan guarantee"

Jeezus, another $200M in loan guarantees. So if SoloPower folds tent and moves to China like the place in MA did, then we're stuck for that also?

This is what happens when you spend other peoples money and don't really care.

Gotta love those parking meter revenues.

IIRC. some from the area around OHSU have been pledged to the Homestead Neighborhood for various (gasp) sidewalk (not bike) improvements; others have been pledged to various east side small business districts.

It sort of beginning to look like the financing scheme in Mel Brook's "The Producers". Only 300% of the revenues pledged, but its not like anybody is counting.

SIlly me, I though parking meter revenue was to go to PBOT for street maintenance.

Nonny, how can you forget the parking meter revenue from SoWhat used for the trolley into SoWhat? Then after three years they tear up over half of it along SW Moody to place the trolley 100 ft to the west. Again, SoWhat meter revenue is helping pay for the $60 Million job plus using $42 Million of Portland's Federal Flex Transportation Funds. Sam/PBOT has many ingenious ways to steal from any pot they want, but then declare "we can't use those funds because they are in another pot" when they don't like some agenda.

This makes one long for the days of real capitalism where the government was not giving preferential treatment to some or financing any corporations. And farther still from the days of the founders who knew why corporate powers needed to be limited.....


"The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.

* Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.

* Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

For 100 years after the American Revolution, legislators maintained tight controll of the corporate chartering process. Because of widespread public opposition, early legislators granted very few corporate charters, and only after debate. Citizens governed corporations by detailing operating conditions not just in charters but also in state constitutions and state laws. Incorporated businesses were prohibited from taking any action that legislators did not specifically allow. "

When some political party wishes to get back to these basics, I shall think about it... but in the mean time corporations are once again trying to dominate the general populace. The very actions that had my mother's ancestors dumping tea in Boston Harbor and kicking the corporate interests back across the pond.

What happened to the city not being able to extend it's credit to private business? How is a loan guarantee not extending credit?

I like the new math:

All the Corp. that make obscene profits off The People, pay the Federal Deficit; All the fat cats taking obscene salaries, bonuses, pensions, pay the State Taxes; The People pay the County Taxes and those making more than the highest payed City Employee, pay the City Taxes and those making less than the highest payed City Employee, pay No City Taxes.
Even out the Playing Field!

Michael, "what happened" partially, is that no organizations or individuals are stepping up to legally challenge any of these transgressions. It's time.

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