Solyndra Board Member Steve Mitchell on Board of New Tonopah Solar – $737M Loan

Solyndra Board of Directors member, Steve Mitchell, also sits on the board of Solar Reserve, the parent company of Tonopah Solar, which just secured a $737 MILLION loan guarantee from U.S. taxpayers via the Department of Energy. A second loan guarantee for $337 MILLION was approved last week for Mesquite Solar 1.

The Mitchell connection to Solar Reserve brings George Kaiser into the spotlight with respect to this latest loan guarantee. Kaiser owns Argonaut and thus invested in both Solyndra and Solar Reserve (more heavily in the former than the latter). He also bundled over $50,000 into President Obama’s campaign.

Their poor track record notwithstanding, Kaiser and Mitchell now have another opportunity to profit from investing in a solar company funded by the Department of Energy.

Mitchell’s day job is a Managing Director of Argonaut Private Equity in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Argonaut is owned by Tulsa’s George Kaiser, an Obama bundler and the largest investor in the failed Solyndra LLC:

About Argonaut Private Equity
Argonaut Private Equity is a diversified global private equity fund located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With more than $2 billion under management provided by George B. Kaiser, Argonaut is uniquely positioned to assist entrepreneurial companies.

Tulsa World:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department has completed a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for a 110 megawatt solar tower on federal land near Tonopah, Nev., and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150 megawatt solar plant near Phoenix.

The loans were approved under the same program that paid for a $528 million loan to Solyndra LLC, a Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel maker that went bankrupt after receiving the money and laid off 1,100 workers. Solyndra is under investigation by the FBI and is the focal point of House hearings on the program. The Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation, through an investment company, holds a 39 percent stake in Solyndra.

SolarReserve LLC, of Santa Monica, Calif., the parent company for Tonopah, is privately held. The Energy Department said its rules prevented it from discussing the company’s financial information. Sempra Energy of San Diego, which owns Mesquite, is publicly held.

Taxpayer monies at work again! George Kaiser invested $337 MILLION into Solyndra and reworked the loan to allow him to be a creditor to recoup losses before America taxpayers. That little maneuver is said to be unlawful, but it happened anyway.  Read the Solyndra story of corrupt government loans gone bad here.

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook