By Rob Nikolewski | Capitol Report New Mexico
SANTA FE — The closure of Schott Solar’s plant in Albuquerque is hitting New Mexico taxpayers with a $16 million loss, because the state left out a powerful provision in the funding agreement.
Then-Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration decided against including a clawback provision, which would have allowed the state to retrieve the Local Economic Development Act funding under certain circumstances.
The plant opened in 2009 as part of the Richardson administration’s effort to create a “Solar Valley” in New Mexico that was hoped to rival California’s Silicon Valley. However, many of the investments never got off the ground.