Category Archives: Buffalo

A Win: Credit Suisse on SolarCity Buffalo deal

A big bank rave review of the Buffalo deal.

Claudia Assis wrote for MarketWatch 26 September 2014, SolarCity’s N.Y. factory deal ‘better than expected’,

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — SolarCity Corp.’s solar-panel factory in upstate New York could allow the solar installer to reduce its costs and save about $400 million a year, analysts at Credit Suisse estimate.

SolarCity SCTY, -0.66% and New York struck a deal earlier this week, with the state announcing a $750 million package to build the solar-panel factory near Buffalo.

That deal “was significantly better than expected,” the Credit Suisse analysts said Continue reading

SolarCity in Buffalo: 1,000 megawatts capacity, 3,000 jobs

Three times as many millios of dollars invested as expected, 3,000 jobs, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says “they could have gone anywhere on the planet”. They could have come here. They went to snowy Buffalo.

David Robinson wrote for Buffalo News 23 September 2014, ‘Historic day for Buffalo,’ Zemsky says of SolarCity RiverBend plans,

SolarCity’s planned factory in South Buffalo — and the 3,000 jobs that come with it — packs a powerful economic punch.

To be built on the former Republic Steel plant site in South Buffalo, the factory is expected to bring more new jobs to the region than the steel maker ever had in its heyday.

With the ability to make enough solar panels to generate more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity, the factory would be Continue reading

Thousands of solar jobs a thousand miles north of here: SolarCity buys Silevo

An Economic Development Council in snowy Buffalo has landed a solar manufacturer with suddenly even deeper pockets, while our Industrial Authority didn’t even meet this month. Maybe instead of supporting an unnecessary fracked methane pipeline that diverts resources we could get on with real solar industry here in sunny south Georgia? wrote yesterday, Purchase of company coming to Buffalo could be boon for WNY,

Silevo, a company that had planned to set up shop at Buffalo’s Riverbend site, has been bought out by SolarCity, and the plan could mean thousands of jobs for Western New York.

Silevo is Continue reading

Register today for hearing on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump

It’s upstream of much of the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, and you can participate in the hearing without having to go to Canada. It may be a thousand miles from here, but stop one there and maybe stop one here. You wouldn’t want a nuclear waste dump on the Altamaha or Savannah River, would you?

Michael Leonardi wrote for EcoWatch 3 July 2013, Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Waste Dump,

Surely the question that comes to many is why on Earth would anyone in their right mind consider the shores of Lake Huron for the first permanent nuclear dump in North America? Lake Huron sits to the north of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario and the water of this lake flows southward and eastward, eventually connecting to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Here’s how to participate in the public hearing, via Burying Nuclear Waste at the Bruce: OPG’s Proposed Deep Geological Repository,

Continue reading

Solar Fedex in Buffalo

How many of the distribution centers here have solar panels on top? Or schools? Or government buildings? Or businesses? None. But sunny far-north-next-to-Canada Buffalo has them.

David Robinson wrote for Buffalo News 14 May 2013, FedEx groundbreaking gives region bragging rights: FedEx Trade Networks breaks ground on a new distribution center that development officials hope will lure more companies, jobs

FedEx Trade Networks began construction Tuesday on its new distribution center in the Town of Tonawanda, giving hope to local development officials that the company’s expansion will boost the Buffalo Niagara region’s efforts to become a distribution and logistics hub.

“It really drives home the value of this region as a center for logistics in the global economy,” said Kenneth Adams, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Development, the state’s main economic development agency.

“It plays to the inherent strength of the region,” Adams said. “There could be no better seal of approval for a logistics business in this location.”

We’ve got transportation and logistics and distribution centers here, but we don’t have this:

Fred Schardt, president of FedEx Trade Networks, said the environmental benefits of the company’s 14-acre site within the Riverview Solar Technology Park off River Road also were a selling point. “We understand the importance of doing business in an environmentally sustainable way. It’s very, very important for us,” he said. “This park allows this to happen.”

The FedEx building will include a 100-kilowatt solar array that will be integrated into the design of the structure. Those solar panels are expected to generate 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity during the term of the company’s lease, reducing the company’s consumption of fossil fuels by the equivalent of 80,000 gallons of gasoline, Montante said.

If Buffalo, a thousand miles to the north with much less sun, can do this, we can, too. Maybe if we did this, maybe in some of VLCIA’s industrial parks, maybe it would attract more businesses….


What causes sinkholes?

Fake and real sinkholes form in the same porous limestone underground here in the Floridan Aquifer, and we get an explanation of that from another limestone area in western New York.

Nalina Shapiro wrote for yesterday, What’s behind sinkholes in WNY?

So what causes these sinkholes to form?

University at Buffalo Geology Professor Dr. Marcus Bursik says there are two types of sinkholes. One type is caused by aging infrastructure, like old pipes that burst underground and eventually cause a collapse on the surface. This is more common and is sometimes called a “fake sinkhole.”

Like the Sinkhole on US 82 near Tifton August 2012, caused by a broken water main, and since filled in. The other type is much more common: Continue reading

If UB, why not VSU? Solar Strand Earth Week

Earth Week at the University at Buffalo, featuring the Solar Strand, 3,200 solar panels generating 750 kilowatts about 1,000 miles north of Valdosta State University. Rutgers U. in New Jersey has 8 solar megawatts coming from a parking lot. If there, why not here? -jsq

Food as tourism: Buffalo now has a “brewery district”

It’s not all fracking shutdowns in Buffalo; now for some good news: food and drink as tourism. We could do that!

Don Postles wrote for WIVB yesterday, Brewery district” now open for tours,

Downtown Buffalo is looking to attract more visitors, and a new concept called the Buffalo Brewing District could be the answer.

Continue reading

Fake fracking reports: professor and institute head quit, other institute disbanded

From Austin to Buffalo, fake science for fracking is increasingly being exposed, Frack U with academic consequences: lead professor resigns, institute head quits, another institute disbanded. The image on the right (Frack U) is not a reputation any university wants to see. At least academia takes conflicts of interest seriously; now if government and the voters would do the same…. Or energy companies. Remember, shale gas (plus nuclear) is what Georgia Power and Southern Company are shifting to from coal, while shading us from the finances that would enable solar power for jobs and energy independence in south Georgia.

Terrence Henry wrote for NPR 6 December 2012, Review of UT Fracking Study Finds Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest (Updated)

The original report by UT Austin’s Energy Institute, ‘Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in the Shale Gas Development,’ was released early this year, and claimed that there was no link between fracking and water contamination. But this summer, the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group, reported that the head of the study, UT professor Chip Groat, had been sitting on the board of a drilling company the entire time. His compensation totaled over $1.5 million over the last five years. That prompted the University to announce an independent review of the study a month later, which was released today.

The review finds many problems with the original study, chief among them that Groat did not disclose what it calls a “clear conflict of interest,” which “severely diminished” the study. The study was originally commissioned as a way to correct what it called “controversies” over fracking because of media reports, but ironically ended up as a lightning rod itself for failing to disclose conflicts of interest and for lacking scientific rigor.

Unrepentant as recently as July, Professor Groat resigned in November. Plus this:

Raymond Orbach of UT’s Energy Institute has resigned after the group became engulfed in controversy over a study of fracking.

And elsewhere even more drastic results have ensued:

Continue reading

Solar college campuses far to the north: why not at VSU?

This spring, the University at Buffalo did it, and now Rutgers is doing it: installing solar arrays for power and profit. Rutgers is in New Jersey, the #2 state in solar power. We have a lot more sun down here. How about we catch up and get ahead in solar power, starting with VSU?

Brita Belli wrote for ecoemagination 25 September 2012, Renewable U: College Campuses Invest in Renewable Energy

Over the summer, crews at Rutgers University's Livingston Campus began transforming a 32-acre, 3,500-spot parking lot into one of the largest solar canopy arrays in the nation. The array will have a capacity of 8 megawatts, enough to power 1,000 homes.

The canopy is more than just eco window dressing — Antonio Calcado, Rutgers vice president for facilities and capital planning, expects that with the financing structure, grants and energy credits, the investment will return about $28 million to the university over the next 20 years. A previous solar project had a similarly rapid payback.

“Combined with the electricity we produce, it's a winner all around,” says Calcado. “We're an institution of higher learning—we teach this stuff—so we should also lead by example. It's a living laboratory in many respects.”

Lead by example: now there's an idea! An idea that might even attract businesses.