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Electric carmaker Tesla targets Arizona solar operations for closure

In this July 28, 2015, photo, electricians Adam Hall, right, and Steven Gabert, install solar panels on a roof for Arizona Public Service company in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Residential solar operations in Arizona are among those targeted for closure by Tesla, as the electric carmaker downsizes its workforce.

Reuters reported last week that Tesla was closing more than a dozen solar installation centers in nine states, including Arizona.

The news service based its report on three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees. Some personnel at facilities closing down were being transferred to other sites, the current and former employees said.

California, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Delaware were the other states with offices that would be shut down, according to an internal email.

Tesla acquired solar sales and installation company SolarCity, which has two Phoenix locations, for $2.6 billion in 2016. A list of the specific locations that would be closed was not available.

A Tesla representative told Ars Technica that the closures are part of the 9 percent workforce reduction the company announced earlier this month.

The Reuters report also said Tesla would be ending a retail partnership with Home Depot that generated about half of the company’s residential solar sales.

Tesla, which is headed by flamboyant entrepreneur Elon Musk, has not made an annual profit in its 15 years of doing business, and it has posted only two quarterly net profits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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