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New York’s Ambitious Solar City Project Has Been a Colossal Failure and a Drain on Taxpayer Money

New York’s ambitious Solar City project has been a massive failure so far, which has made many people question Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to approve it and subsidize in the first place.

Background Information the Solar City Project

The Solar City factory was touted as the highlight of Andrew Cuomo’s crusade to reduce New York’s dependence on fossil fuels and turn it into a green energy friendly state. The idea was quite simple.

The factory planned to produce rooftop solar panels, which would then be leased out to customers without any upfront payments. In return, the customers have to pay for the power they consume (which is produced by the solar panels) for a period of 20 years.

Andrew Cuomo apparently thought this was a fool-proof business plan and offered an unprecedented $750 million in subsidies to the factory.

Nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer money for a business model that has not been proven to be profitable anywhere in the world – no wonder the state of New York is losing jobs and real Americans to other states that are not brain-dead.

New York is loaded in oil shale as well. This could be a rich energy state, rather it is a poor one.

Solar City – A Loss Making Entity

The problem started when the Solar City factory was acquired by Tesla. Elon Musk, who runs an unsuccessful, unprofitable automobile business, somehow thought his company would benefit from acquiring a solar panel factory, which was already struggling to make profits. In the end, Tesla acquired the factory for a whopping $2.5 billion.

Ever since the acquisition, the factory has struggled to produce rooftop panels in sufficient numbers, as a result of which it has been bleeding money. In the first quarter of 2018, the factory managed to deploy merely 76 megawatts of solar energy, which marks a 75% decline in its production capacity from the previous year.

The Criticism against Tesla and New York Governor

Many people are questioning Elon Musk’s decision to acquire the Solar City factory, which constitutes 90% of Tesla’s non-recourse debts. Some of Tesla’s shareholders have displayed their disapproval of the acquisition by filing a lawsuit against the company’s board and accusing them of breaching their fiduciary duties.

Musk was living in fantasy land with that purchase!

Lots of people too are questioning Governor Cuomo’s decision to offer $750 million in subsidies to the factory, without even knowing if it would be profitable.

The Governor, however, is still defiant and justifies his decision by saying that the factory will boost the economic activity in the state and create a large number of employment opportunities for the locals.

The problem, however, is that these are merely claims, not backed up by data. Why exactly would anyone believe that a factory which is struggling to recover its operating costs is going to offer jobs to thousands of people? And how exactly is it going to boost the local economy if it cannot even find takers for its products and services?

The Mirage of Green Energy

The truth is that Solar City is yet another taxpayer funded dud that has been sacrificed at the altar of the green energy god.

Liberals keep chasing the mirage of 100% green energy without even knowing if such a thing is possible, while spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer money in the process. That’s liberal environmental policy in a nutshell for you.

Benjamin Roussey's picture

Thank Benjamin for the Post!

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