For the all the praise solar power gets for being “cleaner” than traditional energy resources, there sure are a lot of hazardous materials involved in the process. When a solar panel manufacturer goes out of business – like the bankrupt Abound Solar in northern Colorado – a costly cleanup of toxic materials must ensue.
So what happens when no one jumps to cleanup all that cancer-causing cadmium? Environmental protests? Rep. Jared Polis funded ballot initiatives banning solar plants from Colorado? Actually, none of the above.
Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway and Rep. Cory Gardner seem to be the only voices sounding the alarm over the hazardous waste left at Abound’s former facility. Here is what Conway had to say in the Boulder County Business Report (BCBR):
“As of yet, we are not privy to any (cleanup) plan, and there certainly hasn’t been anything filed through the court as part of the bankruptcy proceeding,” Conway said. “We’re looking forward to closing this chapter; unfortunately it’s been a costly chapter to all the entities involved.”
Abound Solar declared bankruptcy in 2012 and laid of hundreds of people in the process. Taxpayers were on the hook for $60 million after Abound was left unable to pay back loans from the Department of Energy. Worse still, news reports revealed that Abound was producing a defective product and that it’s panels were catching fire.
Two years later, the “dangerously contaminated site” still languishes according to the BCBR. We’re left wondering: where is the lefty/environmental outrage?