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December 21, 2014

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Boulder City sends SolBio letter of default for missed $3 million payment

Boulder City has found SolBio, the energy firm that planned to build a solar panel power plant in Eldorado Valley, in default on its seven-months-late lease payment for a 2,200-acre lot.

The city sent a letter of default, which City Attorney Dave Olsen provided to the Sun, on Oct. 6 to David Irwin, the company’s president.

Olsen and City Manager Vicki Mayes are seeking $1 million, the first payment due on March 8, 30 days after the contract was signed on Feb. 8. Irwin has 30 days to respond.

The city planned for three payments, totaling $3 million, from SolBio in its 2011 fiscal year budget.

The letter states that according to the contract, the company has been in default since March, but the city “has continued to work in good faith with you” to allow Irwin to find additional funding for the $2 billion project, SolBio’s first. Irwin also owns Green Tech Solar, based in British Columbia, its website says.

Because of the late payment, which Irwin has attributed to tight credit during the recession, Boulder City laid off its public information officer on Tuesday and reduced operations at several city facilities.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayes said Irwin sent her an e-mail, saying he received the letter of default and a payment would follow within 30 days.

Mayes said she was “not optimistic” that would happen as Irwin has given similar assurances since March. Irwin has not returned calls for comment.

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