Another ‘GigaFactory’ – This Time in Buffalo, NY

September 25, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

solarcity energy manageSolarCity will build a 1.2 million square foot GigaFactory, which will manufacture solar panels, in Buffalo, NY. The SolarCity facility will be the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 1 gigawatt of annual solar capacity when it reaches full production.

The SolarCity GigaFactory will be located at the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, a new START-UP NY site owned by the State University of New York’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Earlier this year, SolarCity purchased Silevo, one of the designated anchor RiverBend tenants, and assumed an agreement with the State to increase more than fivefold the manufacturing capability of the clean energy facility, which manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells and modules.

SolarCity will spend $5 billion over the next decade in connection with the creation and operation of the facility in New York, and New York State will invest a total of $750 million through the Buffalo Billion and other state resources to establish infrastructure, construct the 1.2 million square foot facility and purchase required equipment.  The factory will be online and in high volume manufacturing as early as the first quarter of 2016.

The project development is led by LP Ciminelli as Construction Management along with EYP, Project Architect; CHA, Civil Engineer; and M+W Group, Mechanical Engineer.

This announcement follows on the heels of Tesla’s announcement of a gigafactory in Nevada. Elon Musk is the chairman of SolarCity and the CEO of Tesla.


2 comments on “Another ‘GigaFactory’ – This Time in Buffalo, NY

  1. This is an excellent example of cronyism. Remember Solydra? A state of the art plant that went belly-up, because they couldn’t beat Chinese prices for solar panels.

    What Solydra and SolarCity have in common is that they both use our taxdollars (federal and state grants) to build plants, funnel millions to the owners and crony contractors, and then file for bankruptcy.

    It seems the taxpayers own a large portion of SolarCity.

  2. There is absolutely no evidence of “cronyism” here – and Jim cites no additional evidence in favor of his claim.
    I may as well claim that Jim is practicing “cronyism” for having posted his comment – such a claim on my part would have equal evidencial backing as Jim’s claim has.
    I also notice that Jim made no complaint about any of the other companies cited in his linked article that also receive government $ for the establishment of facilities. Just a few direct quotes from his article include “Free facilities and tax breaks have been the norm for many high tech companies for years”, “Many of the PC manufacturing facilities that dotted the Sacramento Valley in the 90s were old military bases leased for symbolic amounts”, and “Politicians of course like these deals because they can generate jobs and often jumpstart local economies”. Gee, that last one doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

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