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Plans to restart Tesla’s solar panel factory in Buffalo, New York, remain unclear after the coronavirus pandemic prevented the company from verifying that it had met a job creation deadline tied to $750 million in state subsidies.
Tesla has not detailed plans for the factory after western New York manufacturing was permited to reopen on Tuesday, and FOX Business’ inquiry to Tesla was not returned at the time of publication.
Empire State Development, which oversees attracting businesses to the state with tax incentives, has said Tesla reported it had created approximately 1,500 jobs as required. But the state has not verified Tesla’s report, and the company asked for a one-year waiver to avoid a $41.2 million penalty, The Buffalo News reported.
A person walks outside the Tesla Inc. solar panel factory in Buffalo, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Empire State Development may delay job creation requirements because of the new coronavirus, a spokesperson for the state agency told The Buffalo News.
“This would allow companies an opportunity to resume their job creation targets established before the crisis struck,” the spokesperson said according to The Buffalo News. “We are currently working with Tesla on this process.”
Empire State Development did not respond to a request for comment.
Tesla’s situation in New York comes after CEO Elon Musk clashed with California county officials over reopening Tesla’s Fremont, California, plant earlier in May. Tesla dropped a lawsuit against California’s Alameda County on Wednesday after filing it earlier in May.