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Cuomo announces solar company coming to STAMP site


Governor Cuomo was in Batavia Wednesday to announce a new solar company is moving in to the STAMP site in Alabama, New York. The company, 1366 Technologies, will be the first to move into the Manufacturing Park in Western New York.

On stage at the Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College, Cuomo made his enthusiasm clear. He says this announcement is an example of a new era for Upstate New York. 

"You see the energy changing, you see the mentality changing, and you see the synergy that's now developing. Today is a game changer."

1366 Technologies is in the solar business. Specifically, they manufacture silicon wafers. CEO Frank van Mierlo says they're revolutionizing, streamlining, and making the process cheaper.

"And this is all very important because the silicon wafer is costliest component in a solar panel."

Now, 1366 is coming to Western New York, and scaling their operations. They estimate their facility will take about a year to build, and create between 700-1000 jobs over the next five years.

Cuomo has made public-private partnerships a focus of his administration's economic agenda, perhaps to his detriment. The US Attorney's office is currently investigating the governor's much celebrated Buffalo Billion economic development plan.

But Cuomo says Upstate New York is in "ferocious competition" with other regions, and we need more than a strong workforce to attract big companies.

"If you don't offer government incentives to a business this big, basically you're not even in the game."

Veronica Volk is a Reporter/Producer for WXXI News. She comes from WFUV Public Radio, where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter covering the Bronx, and the greater New York City area. She later became the Senior Producer of WFUV’s weekly public affairs show, Cityscape. Originally from Ocean County, New Jersey, Veronica got her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, concentrating on Media, Culture, and Society.