SolarCity plans to invest US$5 billion in the factory over the next decadeBuffalo Rising
The 110,000 square meter plant in Buffalo will produce PV cells and modules based on Silevo's high-efficiency technology, as the largest solar manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere.
SolarCity has begun construction of its new manufacturing facilty for PV cells and modules in Buffalo, New York. The factory will occupy 110,000 square meters, and will have the capacity to produce 1 GW of PV modules when fully ramped.
This announcement follows the conclusion of negotiations with the state of New York, which will invest a total of US$750 million to establish infrastructure, help build the facility and purchase equipment. SolarCity plans to spend US$5 billion over the next decade to build and operate the plant.
A statement by the Governor's Office estimates that the factory will be producing PV modules as early as the first quarter of 2016. SolarCity estimates that the factory will create 1,450 manufacturing jobs.
Modules made at the factory will feature high-efficiency PV cells based on technology by Silevo, which SolarCity purchased earlier in September. Silevo's Triex cell technology combines amorphous silicon layers and crystalline silicon, as well as a "tunneling" oxide layer, a design borrowed from the semiconductor industry.
This has allowed Silevo's PV cells to achieve 22.1% efficiency, as verified by the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratory. The company unveiled a roadmap to achieve 24% cell effiicency in 2011.
Source : PV Magazine
Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor
Governor Cuomo Announces New SolarCity GigaFactory Complex at RiverBend
Will create nearly 5,000 jobs upstate, with over 3,000 in Buffalo
Governor breaks ground on largest solar manufacturing facility in Western Hemisphere
Albany, NY (September 23, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new, one million-square-foot site for the future SolarCity GigaFactory facility, which will manufacture solar panels at the RiverBend site in South Buffalo. The Governor was in Buffalo today to officially break ground on the project, which will create more than 3,000 jobs in Western New York alone and a total of nearly 5,000 jobs in the state. 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.
“We said four years ago that we have to change the mentality of Buffalo, and every day since we have been working hard to continue this new energy and momentum in Western New York. Less than a year after announcing our original plan, one of the leading solar companies in the world is coming on board and making this the largest advancement for Buffalo's economy in a generation," Governor Cuomo said. “This is bigger than anything we could have imagined. It is the perfect metaphor for Buffalo, where the fundamental strength was the available hydropower. That hydropower now, that renewable energy now, will fuel the renewable energy industry for the future. I am incredibly proud that the state is playing a role in this project, because Buffalo’s future is New York’s future, and today that future is brighter than ever.”
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. Since RiverBend was first unveiled  in November 2013 by Governor Cuomo, 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. Silevo is a company that develops and manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells and modules.
SolarCity, the nation's largest solar power provider, 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 state investment will replicate the model created in Albany at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, in which rather than giving money directly to private companies, the State invests in core infrastructure and equipment and uses that equipment as the incentive to attract companies to establish themselves in these new high-tech facilities. The factory will be online and in high volume manufacturing as early as the first quarter of 2016.