Obviously Obama’s “green jobs” effort has been so successful, who not throw another $50 million at a foreign company that employs two people. On the upside, if he wants to pay the money back, all he needs to to is stay at George Clooney’s for a week and he’ll raise the money.
I hope that bully Mitt Romney’s paying attention. These ads will just write themselves.
According to a Department of Interior memo, Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian-based company with extensive energy holdings in the U.S. that purchased the Southern Nevada plant from Arizona-based First Solar, “can apply for payments of up to 30 percent of the eligible costs of the project — approximately $50 million.”
The payments are available through the 1603 Program, a special exemption in the Treasury Department created by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to “reimburse eligible applicants for a portion of the cost of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income.”
The program states that the “1603 payment is made after the energy property is placed in service; a 1603 payment is not made prior to or during construction of the energy property.”
Silver State North began service on Monday, May 7. Larry Springer, a community relations manager at Enbridge, confirmed to Nevada Journal the company intends to file a 1603 application for reimbursement.
As of March 2012, over 34,000 renewable-energy projects across the country have received $11.2 billion in taxpayer funds through the ARRA-funded program. In Nevada, 108 projects have received $147.1 million.
The Department of Energy estimates 5,500 full-time jobs were created by the program, meaning each job cost taxpayers approximately $2,036,363.
Construction of the Silver State North plant, overseen by First Solar, employed 350 people. Now owned by Enbridge, the plant only requires two full-time employees for operation.
Asked why a plant at the very southern-most tip of Nevada is named “Silver State North,” a First Solar spokesman explained that the name was selected to distinguish that plant from a second plant for which the firm is currently seeking permits. That plant — designated “Silver State South” — is to be six times larger than Silver State North, said the spokesman.
Using Obama Math, that will employ 12 people and cost $300 million.