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Biden Awards Ex-Solyndra Boss Nearly $7 Billion To Fund New Tech Project

  The Biden administration is giving nearly $7 billion to a project run by a former top executive of the failed green energy company Solyndr...

 The Biden administration is giving nearly $7 billion to a project run by a former top executive of the failed green energy company Solyndra.

Brian Harrison, the former CEO of Solyndra, is now president of an Arizona subsidiary of the Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC, according to The Washington Free Beacon. Harrison is heading a project to build a semiconductor manufacturing plant in the United States, part of a push by the U.S. to on-shore production of valuable advanced semiconductors that are in large part produced in Taiwan, which is under threat from Chinese expansion.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced on Monday that the federal government has granted Harrison’s project $6.6 billion as part of the on-shoring process. She said the partnership with TSMC will bring “the manufacturing of the world’s most advanced chips to American soil,” according to CNBC.

Harrison is previously known for his work with Solyndra, a now-defunct solar energy company that accepted $500 million in loans of taxpayer money from the Obama administration. The administration greenlit the loans under a 2009 stimulus program. At the time, the administration celebrated Solyndra as a key player in the United States’ future transition toward green energy.

Solyndra announced bankruptcy in 2011 and never paid back the loans it received from taxpayers. Harrison oversaw the company at the time, and while Harrison and other executives were probed by federal investigators over the company’s failing, neither Harrison nor any other Solyndra executive was charged over the ordeal, according to the Free Beacon.

The $6.6 billion grant funds part of the construction of three semiconductor plants estimated to cost a total of $65 billion. The grant includes tens of millions of dollars to train local workers in semiconductor manufacturing.

The taxpayer funds were designated toward semiconductor creation under the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act. The act was passed in 2022 and designated $53 billion in taxpayer money to build and protect the United States’ ability to manufacture the semiconductors, which are commonly used by the U.S. military in advanced weapons systems.

President Joe Biden celebrated the investment into Harrison’s project in a statement, according to CNBC.

“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.

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