SolarCity agrees to pay $29.5 million settlement

WASHINGTON — SolarCity has agreed to pay $29.5 million to resolve allegations that it submitted inflated claims on behalf of itself and affiliated investment funds to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Justice Department announced Friday.

SolarCity, which opened its RiverBend plant in South Buffalo  last month, will also have to release all pending and future claims against the United States for additional Section 1603 payments because of the settlement.

As part of the settlement, SolarCity agreed to dismiss a lawsuit filed in the Court of Federal Claims by two investment funds affiliated with SolarCity arising from allegations that Treasury underpaid certain Section 1603 applications, and to release any other potential claims for additional Section 1603 payments.

"As SolarCity has said all along, its projects were valued correctly, and the methods used to value its projects were sound,” a SolarCity spokesperson said in a statement to news outlets — including The Buffalo News. "It is telling that after an exhaustive five-year investigation, the government did not bring any lawsuit accusing SolarCity of any wrongdoing of any kind, and that it has agreed to drop all its claims upon SolarCity repaying approximately 5 percent, or $29.5 million, of the cash grants that Treasury previously reviewed, approved, and paid."

It's unclear if the settlement will have any impact on the RiverBend plant. When asked what the settlement could mean for RiverBend, a SolarCity spokesperson sent following statement to 2 On Your Side.

Tesla is currently building the largest solar cell and module plant in the U.S., and we are committed to expanding our domestic manufacturing with or without any tariff or price guarantees.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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