Solar City

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Tesla says it has hired more workers than required under a deal with New York state. To reach its goal, the company has started making more than just solar roofs at its Gigafactory 2 in South Buffalo.

A federal jury in New York has convicted key players of corruption in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion' economic redevelopment program. 

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Panasonic has hired nearly 400-people to work at Tesla's Solar City Riverbend in south Buffalo. Tesla has been cutting back its workforce nationwide in the electric car industry. But last month a career fair was held to hire more Buffalo residents at Solar City. WBFO News asked Mayor Byron Brown if he has confidence in the future of Tesla in the city.  

WBFO's Mike Desmond

It is going to be a few months before solar panels start coming out of the mammoth Riverbend complex in South Buffalo, but Panasonic is hiring.

Tesla's stock closed higher Tuesday after the company announced a deal with Panasonic to produce solar panels in Buffalo. The Japanese electronics giant is making a major investment in Tesla's giga-factory along South Park Avenue.

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Some Buffalo Common Council members are concerned that city residents are being shut out of SolarCity's hiring process. But not everyone in City Hall feels that way.

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors Twitter page

Buffalo will play a key role in the development of the newest generation of solar panels.

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News that Tesla Motors may purchase Solar City is drawing mixed reactions. While some are concerned the development projects poorly on the future of the company's solar panel manufacturing plant in South Buffalo, Governor Cuomo  says he "can't see anything but good" coming from the merger.

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Solar City officials met a skeptical audience in an East Side auditorium last night as they talked about the company's plans for the Riverbend complex in South Buffalo.

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With the recent announcement by Solar City that job creation at the plant will be drastically reduced, concerns are being raised.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Mayor Byron Brown tells WBFO News that neither he, nor his office, has been subpoenaed as part of the ongoing Buffalo Billion investigation.

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Economic development is continuing around the Solar City project in South Buffalo. The city Planning Board learned Monday about another spinoff project.

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It's not really clear what Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is probing in his look into Governor Cuomo's inner circle but there is certainly some concern about the effect of the investigation of the Buffalo Billion on projects paid by that fund.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Even when lots of new jobs are created, the poor have difficulty finding jobs. A panel discussion last night at Buffalo State College said in order for that to change, the way people are hired also has to change.

The leader of the State Senate says it's up to the governor to answer questions surrounding the delay in payments to the Solar City construction project in Buffalo.

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The city of Buffalo Planning  Board has given its approval for a warehouse that will supply materials to SolarCity.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Solar City CEO and co-founder Lyndon Rive met with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer at the company's new RiverBend plant in South Buffalo on Tuesday.

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Solar panel installations will get another five-years of tax credit under the massive tax and spending bill approved in Congress last week. Proponents say the move will benefit the region's economy.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

One local state lawmaker says while Buffalo is enjoying new economic growth, it's not necessarily benefiting the city's poorest. Assemblyman Sean Ryan is proposing a new job placement program, backed by dollars from the Buffalo Billion, to chip away at the city's poverty.

Some members of Western New York's congressional delegation are split over President Barack Obama's recent rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline application.

Photo by Chris Caya

Several hundred job seekers packed an informational session in Buffalo about opportunities at Solar City.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

With 1,500 jobs slated for the Solar City complex in South Buffalo, there is a great deal of interest in jobs that might pay $18 an hour. Erie Community College held an orientation on training and courses for those jobs on Monday night.

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With the topping off today of the Solar City plant in South Buffalo, attention is shifting from the jobs of construction to the jobs of operations.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Officials from SolarCity came to Buffalo Thursday to update hundreds of local business leaders and other guests on what is one of the city's most anticipated economic development projects.

McCarthy examines the politics of business incentives

Sep 24, 2014

In the midst of his re-election campaign, Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared Tuesday at the groundbreaking for SolarCity, a project promising hundreds of jobs in return for millions in state subsidies. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is campaigning against such incentives, as Bob McCarthy notes in a conversation with WBFO News.

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After making celebratory announcements of plans to bring high-tech jobs to Buffalo, state officials appear to be toning down expectations.