Energy Department to recover cash from loan guarantee

“Rockland's commitment to this project demonstrates the viability of the Stephentown plant and highlights the need to continue to make investments in innovative, commercially viable projects that can help America compete for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow,” Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said in a statement.

Beacon filed for bankruptcy in October about a month after Solyndra, the California solar panel firm that received a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009, collapsed. The Beacon bankruptcy exacerbated Republican claims that the Energy Department didn’t adequately vet projects before doling out loan guarantees.

But Monday’s agreement is good news for the Energy Department, which continues to come under fire from House Republicans investigating the Solyndra loan guarantee.

LaVera said that the agreement validates the department’s decision to support Beacon’s Stephentown plant. 

“Rockland Capital’s bid to buy Beacon Power and its Stephentown subsidiary for $30.5 million reaffirms what we have consistently said about this project,” he said. “The Stephentown plant is an innovative project that was successfully completed on time and is now generating revenue.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans have vowed to continue investigating the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, and have promised to expand the probe from Solyndra to other loan guarantee recipients like Beacon.