Solar jobs, entrepreneur headed to Buffalo

SolarCity is buying Silevo, which last fall announced plans to bring 475 jobs to the city under the Buffalo Billion Program. SolarCity is a much bigger operator and has plans to increase the planned manufacturing plant’s capacity five-fold, which would make it among the largest such facilities in the nation.

More jobs are also anticipated, a total of anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500.

Beyond the jobs, SolarCity brings noted entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose ventures have included PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Will the larger manufacturing capacity necessitate the state upping its $225 million investment to build and equip the clean energy hub it is planning to house the production of solar panels and LED lights that will be made by Soraa?

Officials aren’t saying.

Will SolarCity receive tax breaks, including those under Start Up NY, which allows companies and their employees to escape state taxes for a full 10 years?

Again, officials are not yet saying.

Also unclear are the types of jobs that will be created and how much they will pay.

While the additional jobs are a boost for the local economy, their cost to the public treasury has not yet been calculated – or at least disclosed.

Elsewhere on Investigative Post, Heaney offers his perspective on the deal and the Buffalo Billion initiative.