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North Carolina grant adds another $2M to Vietnamese company project

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(The Center Square) – In addition to the $8 million from taxpayers already announced, an additional $2 million will be provided to the city of Greenville welcoming a Vietnamese solar company that chose eastern North Carolina.

Boviet Solar, builder of solar panels and photovoltaic cells for American commercial, residential and industrial customers, is locating a $294 million plant in the Pitt County seat of Greenville. The Department of Commerce on Thursday said it granted the city $2 million through the state Rural Infrastructure Authority to assist in adding a substation to support the expansion.

Two months ago, the Commerce Department approved a job development investment grant of $8.279 million to Boviet over 12 years that brought its total state and local incentives to $34.6 million. The company and state say 900 new jobs will come from the project.

A 1 million square-foot manufacturing plant is planned.

The plant’s employees, including engineers and production workers, will be paid average salaries that are higher than the average of $50,937 paid in Pitt County, according to the state. Economists question the effectiveness of taxpayer-funded financial incentives to private businesses to expand or come to a new state.

Thursday’s announcement by the Rural Infrastructure Authority included 20 grant requests awarded for a total of $8.6 million. State leaders say there is $474 million in public and private investment associated with the projects.

The infrastructure authority is part of the economic development arm at the Commerce Department. Grant and loan programs are offered and managed by the Rural Economic Development Division.

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