SolarCity Gigafactory Opens in Buffalo, Creates Jobs

The factory is expected to create nearly 3,000 high-tech jobs in Western New York, and 5,000 jobs in New York State

State of New York

Governor Cuomo participated in the “topping off” ceremony of the new, 1.2 million-square-foot SolarCity GigaFactory, which will manufacture solar panels at the RiverBend site in South Buffalo. As part of the ceremony, the Governor signed a steel beam that was raised into place atop the rapidly developing facility, commemorating the significant milestone for the project that broke ground just 11 months ago. The project will create nearly 3,000 jobs in Western New York 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 one gigawatt of annual solar capacity when it reaches full production.

The project’s impact on the local economy has already been significant with approximately 450 construction workers currently on site and with the number expected to grow to nearly 1,500 by the fall. Construction jobs in the Buffalo Niagara region are at their highest point since 1990.

“Today, Buffalo has reached a new high,” said Governor Cuomo. “On the gravesite of the old economy, where Republic Steel once stood, now rises a beautiful monument to Buffalo’s future. This community built back from difficult conditions and hard times, and now, as the new RiverBend takes shape, it has become a national model of resurgence. This project shows the heart and skill and ability that made Buffalo great, and I am proud to be joining you as we move forward into a brighter future for Western New York.”

With the facility’s “core and shell” substantially complete, work will soon commence on the interior fit out process, including installation of specialized solar panel manufacturing equipment. When completed, the Gigafactory is expected to produce approximately 10,000 solar panels daily. SolarCity will produce Silevo’s high-technology Triex solar panel technology, which has demonstrated a unique combination of high energy output and low cost. And as previously announced, SolarCity will create over 1,460 direct manufacturing jobs at the new facility, and employ more than 2,000 additional workers in the state to provide solar services in the next five years. The facility will create more than 1,440 manufacturing support and service provider jobs in addition to the jobs that SolarCity creates directly.

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