Layoffs May Not Impact SolarCity Corp’s New Buffalo Factory

SolarCity’s recent corporate restructuring and layoffs so far have not negatively impacted the new processing plant in Buffalo, according to Mayor Bryon Brown and other leaders, reports WBFO. Last week, SolarCity revealed that it is going to need fewer workers to carry out Chairman Elon Musk’s clean energy dreams.

No impact on new Buffalo plant

But the sobering news has done little to cool the excitement for leaders there.

“We’re anticipating ribbon cuttings, and the jobs will be starting there soon,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Yes, there’s a national story (regarding restructuring), but we’re focused on what’s going on here in Buffalo and it’s a very positive story.”

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She added that the state’s investment is not in the company but rather in the South Buffalo factory, the report noted.

Buffalo’s mayor echoed similar sentiments. Brown, who is motivated by Musk’s involvement in the Buffalo plant, doesn’t expect any negative affect “on what’s happening with SolarCity in the city of Buffalo.” Brown said Musk is a renowned entrepreneur, and his presence brings a lot of things into consideration, providing the company with a “lot of fire power.”

Critics have referred to SolarCity as a gamble against gigantic public assets. New York State has put in a huge amount of $750 million in the facility, the report notes. In a worse-case scenario, if it doesn’t work out as intended, “and we 100 percent expect it will, the state owns that,” says Hochul. “So, that’s still money that we could allocate to other purposes.”

However, Hochul is confident that nothing of this will happen as SolarCity will “open here in Buffalo.”

SolarCity is part of Musk’s bigger plans

Apart from the layoffs, brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive consented to cutting down their yearly pay rates from $275,000 each to $1 every year. The solar company said it would take charges of $3 million to $5 million for severance costs related with the cutbacks.

News of the cutbacks comes after Musk, SolarCity’s biggest shareholder, revealed a plan to make “solar roof” modules that serve as rooftop shingles rather than separate panels fixed to the roof. SolarCity’s restructuring also comes at a time when the company prepares to sell itself to Tesla in a deal worth $2.6 billion.

Musk clarified that the deal is a piece of his more extensive vision to develop a clean energy powerhouse that allows customers to produce solar energy, charge batteries at home and drive electric vehicles powered by solar energy.