The state of South Carolina came up short in its efforts to land a General Electric solar panel manufacturing plant – missing out on a facility that will employ as many as 400 people beginning next year.
GE will locate its $300 million PrimeStar solar facility in Aurora, Colorado. News of the company’s decision was announced on Friday by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
“This is one of thee biggest deals that will hit the state in a long time,” Hickenlooper said in an address to a local economic development group.
South Carolina was one of ten states vying for the facility, sources at the S.C. Department of Commerce tell FITS.
So … is this a major loss for the state? And a major gain for Colorado?
Who knows … until South Carolina taxpayers begins to insist on transparency with regard to how government spends money on economic development incentives (something it shouldn’t be doing in the first place), it’s difficult to know if a “win” is really a loss or (in this case) a “loss” is really a win.
Interestingly, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s Commerce Department welcomed California-based AQT Solar to Richland County, S.C. earlier this year. The company – which is projected to create 1,000 “green jobs” over the next four years – received undisclosed incentives from the state.
UPDATE: Funny Twitter comment on this news from Columbia, S.C. attorney Todd Kincannon: “In fairness to SC, Colorado is a mile closer to the sun.”