Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 25, 2011 11:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Branding malarkey at the Portland housing bureau. The next post in this blog is NBA Finals shaping up as Dallas at Miami. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Remember the SoloPower hype: 500 jobs

The sweetheart deal that's bringing a solar panel manufacturing plant to somewhere in north Portland -- they're apparently still not saying where -- goes before the Portland Development Commission board today. Here's the car-hating PDC CEO's report on the city's part of the transactions. It's interesting how "at least 140 permanent full time positions" quickly morphs into "will create an estimated 481 jobs," and when the guy really gets going, he conveniently rounds it all off to "up to 500 jobs."

We hope the dreams come true, but if the past performance of the city on economic development is any indicator, something quite modest is about to happen here, at significant public expense.

We also wonder what the environmental impact of this manufacturing plant is going to be. It may be producing "green" energy for the world, but it will fascinating to see what it produces for its neighbors, whoever they may turn out to be.

Comments (19)

Solar panels will come out of China. It won't be cost effective to manufacture them here. This is just more expensive green window dressing for CoP.

"they're apparently still not saying where"

I thought it was some place in Rivergate in N Portland by Kelly Point.

They've learned the shibboleth, "green/sustainable". Heck, if Earl/Merk/Ronny can throw (erm, grant) a weak idea like ReVolt $5M+ and brag about it, then throwing tax credits at something like SoloPower is not a problem. It's OPM (future generations tax base) money.

I'm holding my breath lest the Music Man sells Sam on the green features of band instruments.

These guys all have simian IQs when it comes to anything with business or technology.

Mr. Grumpy, we're running out of jobs to outsource, so we need to create more here in order to send them to China in a couple of years.

I wonder how much this comes out to in terms of public subsidy per employee, using the real (we hope) 140 number instead of the pulled-from-outer-space 500 number.

What is the carbon footprint comparison between using an established warehouse in Wilsonville versus building a brand new facility in Rivergate? Certainly there is a huge construction carbon footprint that is being overlooked...

Here's a sidebar counter suggestion for you, Jack: number of jobs promised in public promos like this versus jobs actually created so far.

Other White Meat, here is an indicator of the number of jobs created so far.

Multnomah County jobs:

2000: 453k
2010: 421k
Job growth: -7%

Population growth during that period: 10%

Mr. Grumpy:

Thin film solar is probably cheaper to make here on a delivered basis to US consumers than in China. It is not labor intensive like silicon wafers.

The real downside is the cadmium thin film uses. It is not super dangerous and I have worked with it before, but it is still a carcinogen. You do not want cadmium vapor or effluents escaping into the neighborhoods. And it does not break down with age.

Didn't Portland subsidize Vestas move to Northwest Portland? Barrons May 23rd issue has an article about the headwinds for Vestas. One of them is declining government subsidies for wind turbines. And without the subsidies they don't work financially.

So when will Vestas close up their Portland shop?

3 things.

It doesn't say what the PDC cut is. As with every Urban Renewal/TIF gig the PDC gets a slice of the borrowed TIF dollars to pay their crack staff. (In a 5 year budget for SoWa the PDC raked in $18 million, all borrowed).
Does this SoloPower deal provide the means to avoid some of the layoffs at the PDC?

"SoloPower’s technology and market niche have undergone extensive due diligence as a requirement tied to approval of their ODEO SELP and U.S. Department of Energy loans"

Really? Due diligence privided by SoloPower?

"Construction on the first manufacturing line is expected to begin during
July 2011
Site/Project Map: TBD"

How do they begin construction on the production line in July when they have no site or building yet?

"at least 140 permanent full time positions" quickly morphs into "will create an estimated 481 jobs," and when the guy really gets going, he conveniently rounds it all off to "up to 500 jobs."

You need to read the fine print. This means 140 jobs at SoloPower, but 341 jobs at PDC for planners/ecodev people and Sam's office for people to generate the pap he tweets out.

Feel better now?

Please remember that these "jobs" are with a company that has yet to "manufacture" a "product" for "sale", with resultant "profits" that will pay for "private investment". Have you ever heard of vapor-ware?

Please remember that these "jobs" are with a company that has yet to "manufacture" a "product" for "sale",

c.f. ReVolt Technologies

Please remember that these "jobs" are with a company that has yet to "manufacture" a "product" for "sale", with resultant "profits" that will pay for "private investment". Have you ever heard of vapor-ware?

Or United Streetcar.

There's a real solar company, with real jobs, real products, and real revenues out in Hillsboro - SolarWorld.

More real than the PDX wish will ever be.

I agree with the other writers about vaporware.

Perhaps an exposé on past promises is in order to place things in context.


It's easy to piss on these claims, and you are absolutely right in your criticisms. But do you give thought to our modern world? These folks at pdc justify themselves with the idea that some jobs in a growing sector is better than nothing, and might lead to even more jobs. And make no mistake nothing is a very real possibility (see Detroit). This is the age of neoliberalism, where global capital goes where it wants and every place compete against each other for any jobs. What do you think Portland should do?

For openers, be a lot nicer to people like Tim Boyle.

...and nicer to Freightliner and Albina Fuel.

...and nicer to small businesses.

Do not charge to the extreme for permits.

Remember the enormous amount of money it cost that business re:
that pizza business that moved across the street on Belmont?

Stop with the streetcar and LIDS, I know a business owner who has said they will have to move first before they pay for a LID.

Stop creating more debt, especially on our unnecessary water bureau dream projects to give money to corporations.
85%/5 years water rates increase?... will that help bring businesses and jobs in here? More likely the globalists will want in to own our water and then charge as high as they want, is that the plan?

Stop with the pet projects taking money away from the children and schools and public safety matters?

The way things are going, we may end up as Detroit, and it will be as a result of elected officials and others around here making very bad decisions.

...and nicer to Greenbrier (Gunderson). In recent years they've opened up plants in Canada and Mexico and laid off Portlanders; all the while the River Plan sticks Gunderson with millions in costs while City Hall tries to "reclaim" the river for bicyclists instead of barge building and railcar manufacturing.

Freightliner, who has moved much of its business to South Carolina and to Mexico. Freightliner owns a bus-building company (Orion Bus) that could have provided steady, year-after-year work for hundreds since most bus manufacturers have a two year order backlog; instead Portland went after Streetcars, which has provided virtually nothing except empty promises. United Streetcar, in its three years or so of existance, has produced exactly ONE car - and it isn't running on the Portland Streetcar line.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics