Sunday, March 17, 2013

Solyndra facility sold to Seagate

The Solyndra saga happened a few miles down the road from my house.  The idea was to set up a solar panel manufacturer in the world's most expensive manufacturing location to compete with China.  To make it work, more than $500 million of US taxpayer funds were committed.  Of course the whole thing unraveled immediately upon spending the last penny of government funds, which should have surprised no one.

The mammoth building is next to the highway and served as a monument to government waste.  As I passed the building yesterday, however, I noticed that it had a new sign up:  Seagate.  Checking the internet, it seems that Seagate decided to buy up the building and use it for a new R&D center, which really is what Silicon Valley is all about now:  Researching new products so that somewhere else in the world - with sensible labor policies - can actually build them.   The quick look indicates that there were no obvious government shenanigans on this.  It actually represents something positive for the local neighborhood.  The deal went through for $90 million for the 30 acre facility.  I suspect that land in Fremont is worth on the order of $3 million per acre, so they probably got the fancy building for the price of the dirt that it sits on.


Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

There is a lot more going on on Solyndra that we do not know of (and frankly, I am not sure I care to know - self-preservation instinct lol).
About Seagate: R&D has been the new kid in business-town for quite some time (with huge gains as well); so I am not surprised that manufacturing will be left for countries with low wages. Hence the need to invest in better education.

Times are changing...


Dee Ice Hole said...

Solyndra smacks of dirty politics---I would truly like to know who personally got paid off.