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Company returns $1.5M to state after missing hiring goal

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(AP) — A California company given millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars to build fuel cells in Delaware has returned $1.5 million to the state after failing to meet its job creation goal.

The payment received this week from Bloom Energy is a fraction of the grant money it was offered in 2012 in exchange for promising to create 900 jobs in Delaware by this year. To date, Bloom has hired only about 300 workers.

In addition to the taxpayer incentives, the state’s deal witjobh Bloom included a new “renewable energy” surcharge that has cost Delmarva Power customers more than $160 million and lasts for another 16 years.

Lawmakers allowed electricity supplied by Bloom to count toward Delmarva’s renewable energy requirements, even though the fuel cells are powered by nonrenewable natural gas.

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