buffalo Stories November 29, 2016

The giant solar module factory at Riverbend in South Buffalo already has quite a tumultuous history, despite its brief existence. It was born out of a deal between the state of New York and solar panel startup Silevo, which was bought by SolarCity in 2014; in turn, SolarCity was acquired by Tesla last week, who inherited the plant.

In actuality, what Telsa inherited was a free lease for the plant, not the plant itself; since the state paid the $750 million to build the factory and buy most of the equipment it will use, it’s the state that still technically owns the plant.

But an investigation that led to charges against the plant’s contractor for alleged illegal lobbying efforts with the goal of getting picked by the state for the construction of the plant has been slowing down some of the financing to complete payments to contractors and sub-contractors. The present situation is that contractors have not been paid since September for work done since July. expand full story

buffalo Stories January 25, 2016

Recent local news reports in Buffalo reveal that SolarCity’s “Gigafactory” is nearing competition. The exterior has been looking pretty much complete for quite some time now (see picture above), but there’s still work to be done inside the plant, which is why 950 crew members are currently on site to get it online in about 6 months. expand full story

buffalo Stories October 2, 2015

Recent pictures of SolarCity’s ‘Gigafactory’ show that the solar panel plant is, at least from the outside, looking close to be ready for production. The Buffalo News managed to get a bird eyes view of the plant and compared the progress with pictures from a year ago. expand full story

buffalo Stories August 28, 2015

Yesterday SolarCity released a SEC filing listing the milestones its co-founders need to achieve to vest tranches of shares of their new performance-based compensation plan. The milestones reveal some ambitious goals for the solar installer.

For example, the first milestone is to achieve a cost of production of $0.50/Watt for solar modules with at least 20% efficiency. expand full story

buffalo Stories May 26, 2015

SolarCity is currently building a solar panel factory in Buffalo. The construction site is not unlike Tesla’s Gigafactory under construction in Nevada. SolarCity’s facility, which could also be dubbed a “Gigafactory” since its planned output is also estimated in gigawatts, has a similar 2-storey steel structure as the one Tesla is building for its battery factory. 

Update: SolarCity and Tesla are not sharing any designs or contractors for their respective factory projects according to Kady Cooper, Director of Communications at SolarCity.

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