In Nov. of 2011 the Mississippi Business Journal reported Twin Creeks Technologies’ new 88,000-square-foot factory, funded with $26 million in state dollars, sat in Senatobia with very little going on.
Twin Creeks spokesperson Tarpan Dixit said, at the time, the plant was not in commercial production but in “validation mode” and waiting for certification — but that was not the message conveyed by state officials.
At Twin Creeks’ grand opening in May of 2011, Gov. Haley Barbour said he was “delighted to celebrate the start of production” at the factory. In September of 2011 Kathy Gelston, chief financial officer of the Mississippi Development Authority — the state’s economic development agency — said the factory was producing “sellable panels.”
Now, Mississippi taxpayers may have only an empty Senatobia building and some solar panel equipment to show for nearly $26 million in loans provided to Twin Creeks Technologies.
The California-based solar technology firm is liquidating, and a company that bought Twin Creeks’ assets does not intend to take over its agreement with Mississippi. The contract called for Twin Creeks to invest at least $132 million and create at least 500 jobs.
These days, the MDA’s Gelston is saying officials are negotiating for Twin Creeks to repay aid above the value of the building and equipment.
Quite a turnaround.
Lenders sold Twin Creeks’ technology for $10 million to GT Advanced Technologies of Nashua, N.H., in mid-November. Gelston says Twin Creeks received about $3 million from the sale, but says there are creditors beyond Mississippi.