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Report: SEC investigating disclosure of SolarCity customer cancellations

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WBFO News

SolarCity, which is moving forward with plans to open its massive solar panel factory in Buffalo's Riverbend neighborhood, is reportedly under investigation by federal regulators over customer contract cancellations. According to a story published by the Wall Street Journal, SolarCity and Sunrun Incorporated, both headquartered in California, are being looked at by the SEC, which wants to know whether the companies have properly disclosed their rates of contract cancellations.

Other solar companies, according to the Journal, have not revealed numbers but have admitted that their cancellations have increased. Investors use those numbers to help determine the overall health of a company.

A SolarCity official, in a written statement forwarded to the Journal, said the company projects its growth based on actual deployments and focuses on reporting the quality of installed assets, rather than pre-installment cancellations.

SolarCity is scheduled to begin production of solar energy components at its Buffalo factory this summer. New York State invested $750 million into construction of the massive Riverbend facility. It's the most ambitious investment made under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion initiative.

The company vowed to create approximately 1,500 jobs and indicated it could grow 1,500 more among supply and service companies. The company faces state penalties of more than $41 million per year if it fails to reach those job goals.

Last year, the company cut 3,000 jobs from its workforce.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.