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‘Green’ Company Sells Solar Panels To Itself And Gets Federal Subsidy

solar energy firm sells panels to itself for govt subsidies
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

This one defies logic at first, but when you read about the boondoggles over green energy, maybe not.

First Solar is a green energy company in Arizona receiving heavy government subsidies to the tune of  millions of dollars. In 2010,  they got $16.3 million to expand their operation to Perrysburg, Ohio. The expansion was touted by Democratic politicians as another great success of the green energy movement adding jobs. Here’s where it gets funny:

Last September, the Export-Import Bank approved over $455 million in subsidies for the sale of solar panels to two firms in Canada. Even if the wind farm up north defaulted, First Solar would still get paid by the feds. The Export-Import Bank was created in 1934 and is a credit arm of the U.S. Government. The name of the company in Canada that got the panels was St. Clair Solar, a small wind farm firm. BUT it turns out St Clair is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Solar! So the taxpayer paid subsidies for a solar company to sell panels to itself!

Officials defended the procedure saying First Solar had to compete with foreign companies as to who would actually be able to sell the panels to St. Clair. But they were only competing against themselves.

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