‘Riverbend’ New Solar Panel Manufacturing Plant by Elon Musk
SolarCity, one of the biggest residential solar power systems in the US, is building a massive plant in Buffalo, New York. The company will be manufacturing rooftop solar panels on a long shut steel plant facility. The solar manufacturing plant has been named Riverbend.
The factory is estimated to create 5,000 jobs. We all know the Germans have been ruling the solar panel market for a very long time and they successfully created demand for home grown users. However, lately China took over the market and became the world leader.
This meant that a lot of the solar panel manufacturing shifted from the US to China. Many in the US view this solar panels manufacturing plant as a bid to reclaim the market share that has been lost to other countries. A lot of US solar panel manufacturers have not been able to survive this price war and many German manufacturers packed up many years ago.
An estimated workforce of 1400 people will work for suppliers. Additional 2000 jobs will be created for other parts of New York. Around 400 people are building the plant and once the work on interiors of the plant start it will increase to a total of 1500.
The plant would have a huge capacity for producing solar panels capable of generating one Giga-watts of electricity which represents one percent of the total US power consumption needs. Once operational, the plant would produce more solar panels than the SolarCity buys every year to provide electricity to its consumers.
SolarCity plans to use a technology developed by Silevo, one of its subsidiaries that it purchased for $ 200 million. The panels developed use the company’s own proprietary research and technology of adding more layers of semiconductor materials embedded within existing technology, increasing the efficiency by more than 30 percent. SolarCity partners are already in talks to move the company to Buffalo, New York. The new factory, besides creating jobs, will compete with the rest of the world in proudly producing locally manufactured panels.