First Solar was looking to built a factory in either Arizona, New Mexico or Austin. An azcentral.com article looks at what Arizona paid to get the factory built there.
The factory will employ 600 people in Mesa, but it signifies more than that. The facility, operated by an Arizona-based company that is a major international player in solar-panel production, will make Broome’s job of attracting more alternative-energy companies easier.
Had Arizona lost the factory to Austin or Albuquerque, it might have been impossible to attract other solar companies to Arizona, he said.
First Solar wrangled at least $51.5 million in potential incentives out of the state, county and city, bought its land at a steep discount, and – perhaps the clinching factor – scored a discount on its power bills.
“The incentive from New Mexico was staggering. It was, like, hundreds of millions of dollars,” Broome said. “New Mexico was even offering to finance the construction of the building. Texas was a good $20 million less expensive than us.”
The article mentions that they offered a discount on electricity to First Solar, a similar discount was offered to Intel to build their new factory in Chandler. It’s interesting to note that First Solar President Bruce Sohn is a former manger from the Intel Rio Rancho factory.