Federal investigators looking into the Buffalo Billion have requested information from SolarCity, the California-based rooftop solar energy systems installer, whose solar panel factory in South Buffalo is the keystone of the state’s high-profile economic development initiative.
SolarCity is not the focus of the investigation, a company spokesman said Monday.
The spokesman also said it was “premature” to speculate on how the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will have on the timeline for completing construction of the $900 million factory. The plant would be the biggest solar panel production facility in the Western Hemisphere, now scheduled to open next year.
“We’re not the focus of the investigation, but the U.S. Attorney’s office did request information from us to aid in the investigation, and we will cooperate fully,” Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s vice president of communications, said in a statement in response to questions from The Buffalo News.
Bass noted that SolarCity has not been directly involved with the construction of the 1 million-square-foot solar panel factory that is being built on South Park Avenue. Under the company’s deal with the state, New York is paying $750 million to build the factory and install sophisticated production equipment that SolarCity will use to make its solar panels. The company, which has agreed to spend up to $150 million of its own money on the project, will lease the factory from the state for $1 a year, plus utilities, over a 10-year term.
If you're looking for stock not to buy, Solar City fits the bill.
Unless you're into dead cats, that is.