A General Mills Inc. manufacturing plant stands past the Erie Basin in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York, is on the verge of becoming famous for more than wicked winters, spicy chicken wings and its Rust Belt legacy. The Queen City is the crown jewel in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s multibillion-dollar business-development strategy to revitalize economically depressed Upstate New York by turning it into a 21st-century manufacturing powerhouse.
His Buffalo Billion (as in dollars invested) project — although the subject of federal and state bid-rigging probes — is highlighted by a 1.2-million-square-foot “gigafactory” that will be run by Elon Musk’s SolarCity and fabricate up to 10,000 solar panels per day. In late May, New York’s Public Authorities Control Board unanimously approved a $485.5 million grant, part of the total $750 million the state will spend to construct and equip the humongous facility.
New York will retain ownership and lease it to SolarCity in a deal negotiated by Albany-based SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the state university known as SUNY Poly.