I went on a quickie tour today (Tuesday) of the Globe Metals plant in Niagara Falls, which is being retooled to produce high-grade silicon for use in making solar panels.
The plant was closed five years ago and was a mess when crews began work in July. It's still kind of a mess, but they're on target to begin partial operations by the end of the year. The main building is huge inside, as the video above attests to. They've put on a roof and are replacing the sides. There is a ton of work left to do.
About 100 construction workers are on site, rehabbing part of the plant, and construction on a 150,000-square-foot annex is set to begin by the end of the year. Globe expects to spend some $60 million by the time the plant is running at full capacity in 2012.
Globe will start with about 100 workers and work its way up to about 500. The state Power Authority is providing 40 megawatts of low-cost hydropower, a big investment on the state's part, as the allocation will save Globe an estimated $13.8 million a year.
As part of the deal, Globe will set aside 25 percent of its production for use by manufacturers in New York State. Local economic development officials have launched an initiative to lure solar panels manufacturers here.
But, really, the point of this post is the video, shot and edited by my colleague Joe Popiolkowski. It's only 49 seconds, so take a look.
I'll have more in an upcoming story that looks at what Buffalo and Niagara Falls are doing in response to global warming.
taggedEconomic Development | New York Power Authority