March 3, 2015
By Stephanie West
Construction of the one million-square-foot SolarCity GigaFactory facility at the RiverBend site in South Buffalo has begun. This project which broke ground this past September, will create more than 3,000 jobs in Western New York and a total of nearly 5,000 jobs in the state.
On-site construction workforce has grown to over 200, with an anticipated increase to 500 construction workers by summer 2015 and a total of 1,500 by fourth quarter 2015. 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 construction at RiverBend is a testament to the progress we have made in reshaping and revitalizing the economic landscape of Buffalo and Western New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The progress at SolarCity is turning Buffalo into a world leader in solar energy, further adding to Western New York's momentum."
The SolarCity GigaFactory is owned by the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute. Since RiverBend was first announced in November 2013, SolarCity purchased Silevo and assumed an agreement with the State to increase more than fivefold the manufacturing capability of the clean energy facility. Silevo is a company that develops and manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells and modules for private residence and commercial applications.
SolarCity, the nation's #1 rooftop solar power provider, will spend approximately $5 billion in the decade following the completion of the facility in connection with the creation and operation of the facility in New York.