Musk: Buffalo’s Solar City will be ‘powerhouse’ factory

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s the strongest show of confidence yet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who told investors this week they fully intend to keep their commitment to opening a solar panel gigafactory on Buffalo’s south side.

And, as usual with the colorful businessman, Musk used some colorful language to underscore his point.

Production has been pushed back multiple times at the sprawling complex at Riverbend. And there have been problems with payments from the state to contractors.

But this news is good news, especially for investors of Tesla, and those looking for jobs in Western New York.

As a result of help it received in the form of tax incentives and other benefits from the state — to the tune of $750 million — Solar City must create 1,460 jobs within its first year of operation, including a minimum of 500 jobs at the plant on South Park Avenue.

They also must create 2,000 jobs across New York state in the first five years — and, eventually, a total of 5,000 jobs statewide.

Musk and other Tesla top brass singled out the Buffalo project during their second quarter earnings report.

Musk says he will fulfill those obligations — and he thinks the local plant will be better than great.

“And just on the Buffalo front, I really want to emphasize we expect the Buffalo gigafactory to really be a powerhouse of solar panels and solar glass tile output. It is going to be a kick-ass facility,” Musk said. “We’ve made that commitment to the state of New York. We are going to keep that commitment.”

If Solar City fails to meet those prior job agreements with the state, they will be ordered to pay a penalty of more than 41 million dollars every year they fall short.

The company said they expect to begin producing solar roof panels in Buffalo by the end of December.

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