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Higgins comments on potential solar panel plant in Buffalo

by jmaloni

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Thu, Jun 19th 2014 08:25 am

Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released the following statement Tuesday regarding the announcement by the company SolarCity of its intention to open "one of the largest solar panel production plants in the world," creating more than 1,000 new jobs at the RiverBend clean energy and technology hub in Buffalo.

"The news that the leading solar company in the country wants to open its first advanced solar panel manufacturing plant in Buffalo, and to make it the largest such plant in the world, is the latest evidence of Buffalo's resurgence," Grisanti said. "SolarCity did not choose Buffalo by accident. This builds on the work we have done on the waterfront, at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and in our growing financial services industry. Now Buffalo's once-thriving manufacturing economy and infrastructure are forming the basis for Buffalo to be a national and world leader in advanced solar panel manufacturing.

"It is fitting that this investment will take place at the former Republic Steel site. What was formerly a reminder of the past we lost will now be a signal of better times ahead.

"It was clean energy - hydropower fueled by the Niagara River - that led to Buffalo's development as a manufacturing economy. A century later, Buffalo is positioned to be a world leader on clean energy again."

SolarCity, the leading installer of residential solar panels in the U.S., has agreed to acquire Silevo, a solar panel manufacturing company that was already in talks with the state of New York to open a manufacturing plant in Buffalo. When SolarCity announced the acquisition of Silevo Tuesday, it also announced its intention to build a larger plant than envisioned by Silevo. According to SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk, the facility will be "the world's largest advanced solar panel factory."

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