Audit: Oregon agency continued supporting solar company

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon agency continued to financially back a solar panel company despite it defaulting on loan repayments to the state.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the state gave $13.5 million in tax credits, $10 million in direct financial assistance and millions of dollars in tax breaks to SoloPower Systems when it entered Portland eight years ago.

The company, which promised lighter, thinner solar panels, shut down its factory and laid off most of its employees in 2013. It later stopped making payments on its state loan.

According to a recently released audit, the Oregon Secretary of State is questioning the state Department of Energy’s decision to make rent payments on behalf of the company, which had a “history of loan default, forbearance, and restructuring.”