Central Indiana city yanks support from solar-panel maker

A central Indiana city is shutting off some of its financial assistance to a solar panel manufacturer because the company hasn't hired enough workers.

An agreement between Columbus officials and NuSun Inc. called for the city to forgive nearly $7,000 in monthly mortgage payments on a facility owned by the city. But Nusun's current count of 17 employees falls well short of the 80 it was supposed to have by the end of 2012 to comply with incentive agreements.

City Council members voted Tuesday to find the company not in compliance, which requires Nusun to start making the payments, The Republic reported.

NuSun CEO Ryan Stout asked for more time, saying the company has made substantial progress toward lining up new contracts.

The city also helped NuSun obtain some $800,000 in local and regional grants.The state also has offered up to $2.25 million in conditional tax credits.

Stout, former vice president of operations at Yorktown-based BatteryXpress, founded the company in Muncie in 2009.

In 2010, Stout said NuSun would spend $9 million to start production at a Columbus industrial park. The company's longer-term goal was to have 240 employees "within a few years."

The company expected a boost in business early last year after its products received stamp of approval from Underwriter’s Laboratories.


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