BUFFALO, NY - The potential for thousands of new solar energy jobs in Buffalo hinges on talk underway between New York State, and a company looking to possibly locate at the former Republic Steel site.
In November, 2013 solar panel manufacturer Silevo struck a deal with the state to locate a solar panel plant at RiverBend , where the state is spending $225 million to build a so called green energy hub.
But last month, Silevo was acquired by an outfit called Solar City, which says it would like to not only build a plant here, but that it would like to build one possibly five times the sizeas had been talked about earlier.
It also said, the terms of the deal Silevo struck, would have to change...but wouldn't say just how.
"We are in the midst of discussions and there is the possibility that we could actually expand the footprint of the building if it works out," said Governor Andrew Cuomo while visiting Buffalo on Tuesday.
Solar City is likely to ask for more incentives for the promise of many more jobs than Silevo planned.
Moreover, when announcing its acquisition of Silevo, Solar City alsomade no secret of its desire to acquire other solar panel makers...raising the possibility that if an appealing deal cannot be reached with New York, there could be opportunities for the company to embark on its manufacturing plans elsewhere.
It is a possibility the governor acknowledged while speaking with reporters.
"The companies have other states that they're talking to also, and it becomes at one point a bidding war," Cuomo said.
However, while indicating it is a war he is willing to wage, it would seem that Cuomo is not willing to wage it at all costs.
"We want to grow businesses we want them located here, but of course we're talking about taxpayers dollars and that's precious," Cuomo told WGRZ-TV. "We want to make the best deal we can...we want them here, but we don't want to pay more than we have to pay so that's where we are now."
Cuomo described the talks thus far with SolarCity as "all good and all positive". He also said no other sites in Buffalo are under consideration for their proposed manufacturing plant.