By Todd Shepherd | Complete Colorado
DENVER — In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Energy (DOE) has released numerous documents relating to the $400-million in DOE guaranteed loans to Abound Solar.
Previous reports said the DOE and Abound were declining to release the documents because of “proprietary reasons.” However, many redactions have still been made to the documents in conjunction with their release, and again, the principal reason for those redactions is FOIA exemption b(4) – “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential.”
Abound Solar was originally touted by President Obama as a “green” jobs creator, but in February, the company laid off more than 200 workers. The company says they are currently retooling their manufacturing plants to create a newer, more competitive solar module. However, the company has drawn criticism because, like the recently-failed Solyndra, the DOE loan to Abound appears to have been made without regard to various credit ratings. The company has also received criticism over the political connectionsbetween Abound and the White House, primarily from Colorado Democrat donor Pat Stryker.