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Biden Admin Gives $6.6 Billion to Project Run By Ex-Solyndra CEO


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Brian Harrison led green energy company to bankruptcy after receiving $500 million in Obama admin loans

The Biden administration is giving $6.6 billion to a semiconductor project run by the former CEO of Solyndra, the failed solar energy company at the center of an Obama-era scandal over government misspending.


Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC’s Arizona subsidiary, whose president is former Solyndra head Brian Harrison, will receive $6.6 billion to build a factory in Phoenix, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced Monday.

Harrison was CEO of Solyndra when it declared bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving over $500 million in loans from the Obama administration.

The funding could fuel criticism from Republicans over the Biden administration’s energy spending. The Department of Energy’s loan office has poured billions into companies with an array of financial and legal problems, leading to investigations by GOP lawmakers.

President Joe Biden touted the funding to TSMC in a press statement on Monday. The company said it will invest an additional $65 million into its manufacturing compound in Arizona, where it already has two factories and is building a third.

"Thanks to this investment, TSMC will also build a third chip factory in Phoenix, increasing its total investment in Arizona to $65 million and creating over 25,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs, along with thousands of indirect jobs," Biden said.

The funding comes from the CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed by Biden in 2022 and is intended to boost U.S. chip manufacturing and counter China’s dominance of the semiconductor industry.

Harrison, who is overseeing TSMC’s projects in Arizona, said he was involved in securing the federal financing in a media interview last August.

"We’re in the process of applications for the CHIPS Act funding," he told CNBC.:snip:

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From a quick glance, it looks like the CHIPS Act. provides nothing but outright grants, tax credits, and direct funding.  There is zero ROI for the taxpayer.

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