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Amonix Solar Plant Closes in North Las Vegas
Amonix Solar Plant Closes in North Las Vegas

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AIR DATE: July 23, 2012

Solar panel producer Amonix has shut down after just 14 months of operation. The facility opened in May 2011 and was touted by many Nevada elected leaders as a huge step forward for the state's solar industry. In January, however, the company unexpectedly laid off 200 employees. Spokespeople for the company said that it was because the plant needed to retool, but the Review Journal has reported that the plant has been idle since May. Amonix was awarded $6 million in federal tax credits and also received a $15.6 million government grant. So what happened to that money? We talk with reporter Ucilia Wang about Amonix's failure.
 
 
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Ucilia Wang, contributor at GigaOm and Forbes
 
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    COMMENTS:
    Of course, Amonix failed. If it were a viable project it would have had no problem raising private capital from investors voluntarily willing to take the risk in exchange for the potential reward. The very fact that Amonix required government grants/loans tells one that they were a bad investment. Always remember this basic law of economics when you see government wanting to subsidize any industry: if it (the "industry", solar/wind plants, high-speed trains, buses, or ethanol for cars, to name a few) were such a good idea and economically viable, the private sector would have *already* done it. So, the very non-existence of such boondoggles tells one that they are crap from the start.
    Tom HurstJul 19, 2012 12:39:23 PM
    I want to know where the community buy-in is for solar projects. We have federal funds coming through, and some of the companies are "local" but where is the buzz and community support for the projects? What will it take from a marketing stand-point for these projects to thrive. Are the companies relying on the local businesses to source their endeavors?
    J. SouthJul 19, 2012 09:18:07 AM
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