Energy Secretary Steven Chu again warned Friday that more recipients of Energy Department green technology loan guarantees will likely collapse even as he touted the strength of the program overall.
The White House commissioned the report last October amid increasing GOP criticism over the bankruptcy of Solyndra, the California solar panel company that collapsed in September after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee two years earlier.
Beacon Power Corp., an energy storage company that received a $43 million guarantee (and drew $39 million of its federally backed loan), has also filed for bankruptcy. The Energy Department, however, expects to recover more than 70 percent of the money.
But the outside report on the Energy Department’s $23.8 portfolio includes a reduced federal estimate of taxpayer risk of losses to roughly $3 billion, compared to an earlier $5 billion department estimate.
The report evaluated 30 loan guarantees (and direct loans to automakers) but did not include Beacon and Solyndra.