Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) will revitalize a vacant Kodak cleanroom building in Rochester by transforming it into a first-of-its-kind CNSE Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility (CNSE MDF) for crystalline silicon photovoltaics, part of a $100 million initiative that will attract solar energy jobs and companies to the Greater Rochester Area.
This effort also includes the acquisition and relocation to the CNSE MDF of the assets of a solar manufacturing company formerly located in Silicon Valley.
“This project to transform a vacant Kodak building into a first-ever solar manufacturing and technology development facility sets a precedent for further investment in this green industry in New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “Not only does this project create over 100 jobs, it will attract additional investments from companies around the world and accelerate our development and use of solar energy. Ultimately, this means growing our clean energy economy, improving our environment, and creating green jobs for New Yorkers here in Rochester and across the state.”
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said, “This initiative, spearheaded by Governor Cuomo and our partners at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, will put Rochester and the Finger Lakes region at the forefront of technological innovation within the solar industry. By nurturing job creation and promoting economic vitality, this plan is a great example of the Governor’s vision for rebuilding the economy in upstate New York. Today’s announcement is another important step forward for the region’s innovation economy and sends a clear message that New York is open for business.”
CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros said, “Supporting the accelerated momentum of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy superhighway blueprint and NY-SUN initiative, the establishment of CNSE’s PV Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in the former Kodak building will further expand New York’s fast-growing nanotechnology initiative and bring high-tech jobs and leading-edge solar companies and technology to Rochester. This announcement bolsters New York’s recognition as a national leader in the commercialization and deployment of critical clean energy technologies, including solar, which are providing significant benefits to our energy, environmental and economic future.”
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle said, “This multimillion dollar investment in Rochester’s economy will help us create over a hundred new good jobs, and spur even more economic growth across our region. I commend Governor Andrew Cuomo and our partners at CSNE for recognizing Rochester’s potential. Major initiatives like this continue to accelerate our efforts in establishing Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region as a global leader in sustainable clean technology development.”
Senator Joseph Robach said, “Today’s announcement continues to build on Rochester’s long and proud history of being a leader of innovation and invention throughout New York State. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s decision to invest in sustainable green technology that will enhance the productivity and health of New Yorkers, while creating quality jobs and helping to improve the lives of people in the Rochester community.”
The first initiative as part of the project will relocate a critical component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot initiative from California’s Silicon Valley to Upstate New York, positioning New York as the recognized national leader in accelerating the development and use of solar energy nationwide.
Renovation is underway to transform the 57,000-square-foot building at 115 Canal Landing Boulevard in the Canal Ponds Business Park, which was formerly occupied by Kodak’s MEMS inkjet facility before it closed last October. The initiative will enable more than 100 high-tech jobs and includes the fitting up of a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot cleanroom. A late fall opening is anticipated.
As part of the project, over $19 million in cutting-edge tools and equipment formerly utilized by SVTC, a Silicon Valley-based solar energy company, are being relocated to the CNSE MDF and will constitute the foundation of the manufacturing development line, a result of the acquisition of SVTC’s assets by CNSE. The U.S. DOE is providing nearly $11 million in cash funding to support procurement and installation of high-tech tools and equipment, with investment from private industry partners expected to exceed $65 million to support the development and operation of the CNSE MDF.
To support the project, New York State will invest $4.8 million through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The state investment will be directed entirely to CNSE; no private company will receive any state funds as part of the initiative.
The solar industry’s first full-service collaborative facility dedicated to advancing crystalline silicon, or c-Si technologies. The CNSE MDF will provide a range of services and equipment, including complete manufacturing lines, access to individual tools, secure fab space for users’ proprietary tools, and pilot production services in an intellectual property (IP) secure environment.
The CNSE MDF will attract solar industry companies to New York to access a state-of-the-art resource that will dramatically reduce the cost, time, and risk associated with transitioning innovative solar technologies from research to commercial manufacturing of crystalline silicon photovoltaics. It will also play a critical role in the national effort to develop a strong PV manufacturing industry, and serve to accelerate the introduction and use of solar energy in homes and businesses across the country.
Further leveraging the publicly led industry-university partnership model utilized at CNSE in attracting the leading companies in the nanoelectronics industry, the CNSE MDF will provide a cooperative environment in which corporate participants can access leading-edge manufacturing equipment and production expertise. It will also enable education and training to support the expansion of the highly skilled workforce required by the U.S. PV manufacturing industry.
The establishment of the MDF for c-Si PV technology will also complement and expand the capabilities and expertise of the national U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), headquartered at CNSE as part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative. The PVMC is leading the national effort to reduce the cost of installed solar energy systems from $5 per watt to less than $1 per watt over the next 10 years.