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More than 1,000 new jobs planned in Southern Nevada

Updated July 17, 2017 - 10:30 pm

A solar panel company is looking to set up a manufacturing facility in Nevada, likely in Las Vegas.

Sunpreme Inc. is a Silicon-Valley based solar cell technology company that designs, develops and manufactures hybrid cell technology products.

“What we are trying to do is to build a factory in Nevada, much like Elon Musk did for Tesla’s batteries, but the output of that factory will be (commercial and industrial-use) solar panels,” said Moris Kori, Sunpreme’s chief strategy officer.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development board on Monday approved more than $3.2 million in tax abatements for the company to set up shop in Nevada, but that might not happen right away.

Kori said the company needs to raise nearly $30 million in capital to begin operations in Nevada, which includes buying or leasing a 100,000-square-foot space.

“It’s a factory that will provide products that will be worth at least $50 million every year,” Kori said.

The company has a “small, pilot factory” in Shanghai, China, but now it wants to build a “megafactory,” he said.

Sunpreme plans to open a Nevada factory in 2018, with an initial hiring goal of 200 employees.

Within four years of operations, Sunpreme Chairman and CEO Ashok Sinha said in the tax abatement application, he hopes to triple the facility’s manufacturing capacity and potentially hire an additional 300-plus employees.

The company plans to pay an average hourly wage of $24.14.

“Once we manage to put together sufficient capital, then Nevada is our first consideration,” Kori said, citing the state’s proximity to the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and recent “divorces” of corporations such as MGM Resorts International from NV Energy.

“If we have a factory in Nevada, we will also be able to work with those potential customers very closely, because we really want to be in a place where solar is appreciated, where solar is viewed as a strategic objective for the state,” he said.

Kori said he is confident the company will be able to work with the Clark County School District and the College of Southern Nevada to implement a workforce training program.

The state economic development office estimates Sunpreme will generate more than $38 million in new tax revenue over 10 years.

Other actions

In other action, the board approved more than $7 million in tax abatements for six other companies.

— Australian slot machine maker Aristocrat Technologies Inc. will receive about $209,961 for an expansion and is estimated to generate about $3.8 million in new tax revenue over 10 years. Summerlin developer Howard Hughes Corp. announced plans to build a 180,000-square-foot campus for Aristocrat in May. Aristocrat plans to hire about 25 people at an average hourly wage of $45.28 within the next two years.

— The Anthem Cos. Inc. is considering establishing a 75,000-square-foot “customer service facility” in Las Vegas. The publicly traded health company is slated to hire 400 people at an average rate of $21.52 over the next two years. The board approved about $831,211 for the project, which is estimated to generate about $32 million in new tax revenue over 10 years.

— Medolac Laboratories is considering opening a corporate headquarters and central processing facility in Henderson. The Oregon-based company pays mothers for their breast milk, which it turns into a shelf-stable product sold to hospitals and humanitarian aid organizations to care for infants, specifically in neonatal intensive care units. Medolac expects to hire 50 people within two years at an average hourly wage of $21.38. The economic development board approved $588,037 in incentives with an estimated $5.6 million in new tax revenue over 10 years.

— Vegas Sheets LLC is considering leasing a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Henderson. Parent company Corrugated Synergies International LLC is headquartered in Washington state and builds and manages sheet feeding and full-line box plants. In its first two years of operations, Vegas Sheets is slated to hire 69 people, who would make an average hourly wage of $25.35. The economic development board approved about $1.9 million in incentives with an estimated $5.5 million in new tax revenue over 10 years.

— Starbucks Coffee Co. is planning a 700,000-square-foot expansion of its Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Minden, Nevada. Starbucks expects to hire 99 people within the next two years at an average hourly wage of $21.16. The economic development board approved $403,832 in incentives for the expansion, with an expected $12.2 million in new tax revenue generated over 10 years.

—The Masonite Corp. is considering establishing a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing division in Northern Nevada. The division would manufacture interior and exterior doors and door components. Within the first two years of operations, Masonite expects to hire 86 people, who would make an average hourly wage of $17.31. The economic development board approved about $664,850 in incentives with an estimated $4.6 million in new tax revenue over 10 years.

Contact Nicole Raz at nraz@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

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