Why has Elon Musk, environmentalist, survivalist, billionaire and chairman of Solar City decided to invest his money in Upstate New York?
Musk’s goal is to create state-of-the-art solar panels that beat the competition (dirty energy) hands down, with added features such as easy of configuration and a streamlined, attractive appearance. A new manufacturing plant being built in Buffalo plans on adding 1,460 new jobs for its huge operations. Hiring has already begun.
SUNY has suffered from high energy costs ranging up to 50% more than those of the rest of the country. Enter the solution: Technology experts.
“SUNY’s Green Incubator will develop an integrated network of energy specialists from academia, industry, government, and the public policy arena who will fast-track our strategies, putting us on the leading edge of opportunities. And we will tap into more and different kinds of financing— including venture capital and angel investment funding—to place New York at the forefront of the clean energy economy.”
Elon Musk isn’t just any billionaire. He has a PhD from Stanford in physics, is the CEO of Tesla Motors and a co-founder of PayPal and SpaceX. As both a scientist and an astute investor, he knows how vital green energy is to our survival and has been investing in solar related products throughout the Mohawk Valley. Not coincidentally, Musk believes climate change will unleash massive migrations of displaced populations into global warming survival belts, such as New York’s Mohawk Valley.
Solar City is shifting its production base to Buffalo to improve control over supply. Their goal is to become a fully integrated residential and commercial provider.
Solar City Herkimer
New York State has expanded the growth of solar energy, which tripled between 2011 and 2014, bringing lower energy costs for both commercial and residential applications. Solar City will be constructing two solar arrays on 10 acres of land adjacent to Herkimer Community College. On June 24, 2015, the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency passed a resolution to allow the $3.5 million project to move forward. Already been approved by the Herkimer County Legislature, the solar arrays are expected to save the Herkimer County and SUNY Herkimer $80,000 each per year.
New York’s focus on technology is realized in local programs. $191 million Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building in Albany is a world-class laboratory for clean and renewable energy technologies. The result of New York’s visionary investment of billions of dollars in this green technology will be thousands of jobs, groundbreaking programs and research, and the capacity to train and create a skilled local workforce.
New York is fast becoming a green energy leader, pulling way ahead of most other states. And much of that innovation will come from here in Upstate New York and the Mohawk Valley.