City of Goodyear, Arizona
For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2010
Suntech to proceed in Goodyear after lawmaker withdraws bill
Arizona leaders advocate sound energy policy, not obstacles
GOODYEAR, ARIZ. (Feb. 26, 2010) The House bill that threatened to gut Arizona's burgeoning solar industry, kill jobs and drive away a major solar manufacturing company slated to open in Goodyear was withdrawn Thursday.
HB2701, introduced by Rep Debbie Lesko, was withdrawn after meeting with serious push-back. Suntech Power Holdings, which recently chose Goodyear, Arizona as the location for its new manufacturing plant, was relieved that the uncertainty caused by the proposed bill was dealt with quickly.
"We applaud Mayor Cavanaugh, Governor Brewer, and the entire Arizona leadership for their swift action this week to keep solar industry jobs in the state and to decrease uncertainty in the solar markets," said Steve Chan, Chief Strategy officer for Suntech. "Our team is eager to return to our efforts to open our Goodyear factory and get Arizona's people working with us to continue the growth of the U.S. solar market."
Goodyear, Suntech and other supporters of Arizona's solar-friendly policy quickly lodged their opposition to HB2701, as did proponents of the state's growing renewable energy industry.
Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh was pleased with the speedy resolution of the situation. He said the city of Goodyear is grateful for the collaborative approach to problem solving undertaken by Rep. Lesko, other members of the Legislature, and Suntech Corporation.
"The action to pull the House Bill 2701 demonstrates the importance of open and educated vetting in a decision-making process," Cavanaugh said. "It's a great day for solar energy, job seekers and the State of Arizona."
Gov. Jan Brewer, Senate President Bob Burns and Speaker of the House Kirk Adams said Arizona must focus on creating sound energy policy and not obstacles. They said they would not permit any public policy that would get in the way of Arizona's ability to attract quality jobs and growth industries.
"Representative Lesko's wise and thoughtful actions today to withdraw HB 2701 should be lauded," Gov. Brewer said. "This sends a clear and united message to employers around the world that Arizona remains the premier destination for solar industries."
Brewer, Burns and Adams have been supporters of job creation and the solar industry. All three have supported SB1403, the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program that went into effect Jan. 1.
"When it comes to renewable energy policy, Arizona takes a back seat to no one, not Texas, not Oregon," Adams said. "We fully intend to keep it that way."
Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, praised state officials for their commitment to the solar industry and to bringing quality jobs to Arizona.
"HB2701 would have decimated the most promising industry," Broome said. "Now that it has been withdrawn, we can focus on growing our economy, understanding that solar is the wave of the future."
Solar leaders are also praising the decision to withdraw the bill.
"Arizona has one the best solar resources in the world, so it is only fitting they be a leader in the solar industry as well," said Drew Zogby, President and COO of Alpha Energy, which announced today it will relocate its corporate headquarters to Phoenix. "We are encouraged to know the Arizona Legislature is going to support the local solar industry, and are confident Phoenix is the ideal location to base our national renewable energy operations."