It turns out the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is doling out $1.2 million in funding and/or tax incentives from Nevada’s Catalyst Fund to get California-based SolarCity to locate operations in Las Vegas while the company is being investigated by the Treasury Department for possible fraud in obtaining grants from the Department of Energy for installing solar panels.
According to the Western Center for Journalism, SolarCity has received more than $66 million from that program. That’s in addition to a $344 million loan guarantee from Energy.
The awarding of the incentive money to SolarCity comes two weeks after the company reported its first earnings since becoming a public company, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. “The San Mateo-based solar installer posted a fourth-quarter loss of $3.04 million, or $1.10 cents a share, compared with net income of $3.7 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected a loss of 49 cents a share, and SolarCity’s shares were down more than 9 percent in after-hours trading.”
The company’s founder is Elon Musk, a big contributor to Democratic campaigns in general and to President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid in particular.
According to a Vegas Inc. story earlier this week, Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was pleased SolarCity was coming to Nevada. “This is a monumental moment for this board,” Sandoval said after a unanimous vote to award the funds by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board.
“You had me at Elon Musk,” the article quoted board member Ross Miller, the secretary of state.
Musk’s electronic car company Tesla received a federal loan guarantee for $465 million. According to the San Francisco Business Times, Tesla lost $89.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the company’s total amount lost or written off to more than $1 billion.
Musk’s SpaceX gets $1 billion in NASA funding.
“Musk symbolizes the Obama entrepreneur — someone who relies on government to make their riches as opposed to the marketplace,” the Western Center for Journalism observed. Add Nevada to the list of government suckers.