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Solar entrepreneur becomes New Mexico’s 1st billionaire

April 8, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A longtime Albuquerque resident has been listed as a billionaire on Forbes’ annual list of the richest people in the world. The magazine published its latest rundown of global billionaires this week.

Ron Corio, 59, was listed at No. 2,524, becoming the state’s first billionaire, The Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday. Forbes reported that Corio had a net worth of $1.1 billion as of Tuesday.

He is one of 2,755 global billionaires included on this year’s list and one of 724 in the U.S.

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Corio was born in New Jersey and moved to New Mexico in 1979, launching Array Technologies, Inc. in 1989 at the age of 28.

The company makes tracking systems for solar arrays that tilt and turn the panels to follow the sun. Array Technologies now controls 30% of the U.S. solar-tracker market, the Journal reported.

Corio’s company went public last October on Nasdaq Stock Market, raising more than $1.2 billion and pushing the firm’s valuation at that time to about $3 billion.

Array Technologies reported about $830 million in revenue last year. Corio stepped down before the company went public, but remains on the board and retains an 11% stake in the company.

“I always lived under the radar,” Corio told the Journal on Wednesday. “I kept my head down and worked hard. I had some serendipity in my life and it happened, but it took a lifetime to get there.”

Array Technologies owns a 43,000-square-foot (4,000-square-meter) manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, plus 26,000 square feet (2,400 square meters) of office and warehousing space. It employed nearly 350 people as of last June.

“The big thing is to find something you believe in and persevere at it,” Corio said. “That’s what it comes down to, to get this kind of success – believe in what you do and stick with it.”