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SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Transforms Former Kodak Facility in Rochester, New York, into Solar Manufacturing and Technology Development Center

Area Development Online News Desk (07/17/2013)
State University of New York’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will revitalize a former Kodak cleanroom building in Rochester, New York, transforming it into a first-of-its-kind CNSE Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility for crystalline silicon photovoltaics.

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 includes a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot cleanroom.

The project is part of a $100 million initiative that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office said will attract solar energy jobs and companies to the Greater Rochester Area. This effort also includes the acquisition and relocation of the assets of a California solar manufacturing company, SVTC, as part of a project estimated to create over 100 high-tech jobs.

“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.”

CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros said, “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.”

The project will relocate a critical component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 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, the Governor’s Office said.

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, will be 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 Department Of Energy 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. The state investment will be directed entirely to CNSE; no private company will receive any state funds as part of the initiative.

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