Rochester, NY — The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development (ESD) and Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) joined forces to make a landmark announcement about a significant investment that has the potential to transform the Greater Rochester Region and Western New York.
Massachusetts-based solar wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies has chosen to establish operations at the Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Genesee County town of Alabama, N.Y. The company’s multi-phase project will eventually create 1,000 new jobs at STAMP. This is the largest business attraction project GCEDC and GRE have ever managed and secured.
1366 Technologies will build a 3GW wafer facility with a methodical phased approach, starting with a 250MW facility. Over the course of the multi-phase project, 1366 will invest approximately $700 million, including a $100 million initial investment, becoming the largest economic development project in the history of Genesee County.
“This win represents tremendous collaboration between Western New York and Rochester area economic development partners who employed a multi-regional approach to support this project via Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council process,” said Mark S. Peterson, president and CEO of GRE. “This begins to change the dynamic between the two cities to create a major metropolitan hub.”
According to Peterson, the team at GCEDC led the development of STAMP, which played a significant role in attracting 1366 Technologies.
“The assets available at STAMP make it the perfect choice for 1366 Technologies,” Steve Hyde, president of GCEDC said. “From millions of gallons of available water, to low cost power to proximity to high quality talent from two of the largest upstate New York cities, the mega site has so much to offer.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development joined the regional economic development organizations in pursuing this project and put forth an incentive package of up to $56.3 million and up to 8.5 megawatts of low-cost hydropower.
“This announcement is an example of how we are combining this region’s natural strengths with our vision to develop New York’s entrepreneurial future and make the Empire State a true leader in developing the clean energy technologies of tomorrow,” said Governor Cuomo.
1366 Technologies develops technologies for the solar industry that meet market demands for innovation and easy adoption. The company, which was named one of the world’s top 10 most innovative energy companies by Fast Company, aims to drive down the levelized cost of solar electricity, focusing first on wafer technology. According to Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 Technologies, the company’s Direct Wafer™ has the potential to revolutionize wafer manufacturing.
“The technology is ready and 1366 is squarely positioned to lead in an industry undergoing rapid global growth,” van Mierlo said. “Our goal has always been two-fold: deliver solar at the cost of coal and manufacture – at scale – in the United States,” van Mierlo added. “This announcement signifies that we’re on our way to achieving both.”
In April of 2014, NYS lawmakers approved more than $33 million in funding for the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, a proposed state-of-the-art nanotechnology park in Genesee County. 1366 Technologies is the first company to commit to establish operations at STAMP. Several other companies are exploring expansion projects at STAMP.
“We are extremely proud to become part of the Upstate New York community and are committed to the Finger Lakes region’s vibrant future,” van Mierlo said.
According to officials involved with attracting 1366 Technologies to this site, STAMP is a competitive site when compared to other similar sites across the country because of its unique combination of benefits. It’s a mega site, offering 1,250-acres of useable property. It’s located in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo, offering companies the opportunity to draw talent and labor from two workforce powerhouses.
It provides access to a laborshed of more than 1.1 million people as well as to 57 colleges and universities with 300,000 students. The low-cost hydropower delivered to the site at rate of 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour offers a highly valuable asset for major power users, with the addition of an available, abundant supply of fresh water from the Great Lakes.
“When STAMP is fully built, it has the potential to attract thousands of new jobs and support tens of thousands more when you consider construction and supply chain jobs in surrounding areas,” said Hyde. “This will create a high-tech corridor spanning Upstate, and drive significant economic growth in both the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions.”
Long-term business investment at STAMP carries a potentially transformative impact, given the scale of assets and available land for energy, nanotechnology or semiconductor projects. It also brings the Rochester and Buffalo regions closer together, fostering the type of economic collaboration necessary to fuel Upstate New York’s resurgence.