Project Eagle has a new name and a new home, and Wednesday Governor Cuomo announced an agreement with 1366 Technologies, a manufacturer of technologies for the solar energy industry, to locate a new photovoltaic manufacturing facility at STAMP, the “Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park”, in Genesee County. 1366 Technologies of Bedford, Mass., a startup with VC funding and a DOE loan guarantee, opened a $6 million, 25- megawatt wafer fabrication facility in 2013. Today, the company announced plans to build a 250-megawatt commercial solar wafer manufacturing facility at the STAMP location in Genesee County.
The intention is to eventually scale that factory from the 250-megawatt production to 3-gigawatts of cell capacity, producing hundreds of millions of wafers per year. This move will make 1366 Technologies the "anchor tenant" in STAMP and, with SolarCity's gigawatt-scale solar factory just 20 miles away, western New York is now positioned to be the leading solar cell producer in the country.
It has taken a while for 1366 to get to this point. Frank van Mierlo, the CEO of 1366, said in a statement, "We’ve taken a very deliberate route to high-volume production. In the process, we’ve built a stable, capital-efficient business during the most challenging of times.” … "The facility in Bedford, Massachusetts was our proving ground and New York brings us to commercial scale."
Boasting a phased development, the first phase will require the construction of a 130,000 square foot facility to occupy in excess of 120 acres in the park. It is projected to initially create 600 direct jobs and numerous indirect jobs as this and other companies locate to STAMP. This initiative also brings $705 million in private investment into the newly developed manufacturing park. Because STAMP is currently an undeveloped site many more construction jobs are anticipated as it will be necessary to bring Water, Electric, Sewer and a variety of other utilities to the area. At 120 acres this Flagship build will occupy roughly 10% of the available area within the park, leaving much room for growth and expansion.
At Wednesday’s event NYS Assembly leader Joseph Morelle remarked “As one of our region’s top economic development priorities we have worked tirelessly to bring STAMP from concept to reality”. This clearly signifies a huge step forward in realizing all of the economic, social, and educational benefits that STAMP can bring to the Greater Rochester / Finger Lakes region. It is an exciting time for our region, as this and other developments on the site will create numerous construction opportunities – for both the future manufacturing facilities as well as the supporting facilities of residential and commercial space needed to support this micro-city – as STAMP continues to fill its 1,250 acres of space.
Economic Development is a team sport and UNICON has been an involved partner in advocating and supporting this project, and STAMP, and we are thrilled to see this come to fruition.