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500 New “Green Collar” Manufacturing Jobs Coming to Niagara Falls
New Facility Will Help Attract Additional High-Tech Jobs
Major Economic Development Positions Western New York as Potential Solar Energy Hub

Michael Saltzman

ESD Press Office
(716) 856-8111

May 20, 2008


Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced a major economic development package for Niagara County, which will bring 500 new “green collar” jobs to the area.  The package includes a major allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project that will serve as the linchpin for the reopening and expansion of manufacturing facilities of Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. (Globe) in Niagara Falls.

ESD and NYPA partnered to develop an incentive package for Globe, a leader in the silicon manufacturing that is used to create solar panels.

“This is another demonstration of our resolve to revitalize economic development in Upstate New York.” said Governor Paterson.  “This project signifies how powerfully competitive New York State can be in attracting businesses when we pool our resources – in this case low cost hydropower through NYPA and an Empire Zone incentive through Empire State Development.  In these fiscally tough times, these are the kind of collaborative investments of state resources that we need to spur economic development in communities throughout New York.”

Alan Kestenbaum Chairman and CEO of Globe, said:  “We are pleased to be partnering with the State of New York and in particular with Governor Paterson, ESD and NYPA in bringing about the reality of the reopening and expansion of Globe’s Niagara Falls facility. This project will add needed capacity of silicon for solar grade silicon and will be a cornerstone for New York State to realize the goal of making New York a major center for production and research for renewable energy and in particular solar energy products. We salute all those individuals and agencies who worked tirelessly and expeditiously to make this happen and for proving once again the attractiveness of doing business in the State of New York.”

As part of their agreement with the state, 25% of Globe’s Upgraded Metallurgical Grade Silicon (UMG-Si) production from their new Niagara Falls facility will be used to attract new solar panel manufacturers to New York State, thus seeding the development of the “Green Collar” industry in Western New York.  This provides a foundation for New York to become a leader in the solar use and production industry.

While the solar industry is the highest growth sector in the CleanTech cluster and is currently experiencing a large influx of investment and expansion, the vast majority of solar technologies require purified silicon which is extremely scarce. Several major solar panel manufacturers have inquired about the availability of the material in conjunction with locating new plants.  Since that time, ESD has been engaging silicon producers in an attempt to leverage New York’s hydropower assets to produce silicon and build new facilities to help meet that demand.

Globe will re-open the existing Highland Avenue silicon production facility in Niagara Falls and invest in upgrading the equipment to produce approximately 30,000 tons of metallurgical grade silicon annually. In addition, it will build a new 100,000+ square foot facility in Niagara Falls to annually convert their metallurgical grade silicon into 4000 tons of Solar Grade silicon– enough to produce 500MW of solar power.

ESD and NYPA created a package that provides Globe with 40 MW of hydropower over five years and up to $25,000,000 in Empire Zone benefits for up to ten years.  The company will provide a capital investment of $60 million.

This economic development package will advance the Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force recommendations by developing incentives to attract clean energy industries to New York.  
The hydro power used to produce solar grade silicon in turn will be used to create zero-emission solar energy, a true “Green-to-Green” energy industry.

Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter said:  “The New York Power Authority’s decision will allow Globe Specialty Metals to reopen its Niagara Falls factory, inject millions into our slumping manufacturing industry, and create 500 badly-needed new jobs. I was pleased to work with the Power Authority on behalf of Globe and applaud their prudent decision that will open the doors to a much-needed jump start for our regional economy.”

State Senator Antoine Thompson said: “I am proud to work with Gov. Paterson to bring 500 new green collar jobs to Niagara Falls. This project represents another critical step forward in revitalizing the Highland Avenue community.”

Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte said: “This announcement is exciting news for Niagara County. This partnership will provide 500 new jobs with the possibility of bringing hundreds more in the future. Having this high growth industry come to Niagara Falls is a step in the right direction to further our economic revitalization and is a way to keep our residents right here in Niagara County. I applaud the Governor and Empire State Development Corporation for their forward thinking in allowing Niagara Falls to set the way for New York to move into this ever growing industry.”

Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said: "The plans to reopen Globe Specialty’s Niagara Falls facility are a direct result of the efforts of NYPA and Empire State Development Corp. who worked together to make this happen," said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer. "This collaborative initiative recognizes the strong commitment by Governor Paterson to both stimulate the upstate economy and advance renewable energy technologies. The revamped Globe Metallurgical facility exemplifies both goals. We're excited about the role we're playing in providing the low-cost hydropower for this enterprise."

Daniel C. Gundersen, Upstate Chair of ESD, said: “The economic impact of the Globe deal will reach far beyond the 500 jobs pledged as we can now use this facility as an inducement to attract solar panel manufacturers to Upstate. We salute NYPA for their cooperation and enthusiasm in helping to bring these jobs to Niagara Falls.  Governor Paterson’s vision to expand our green economy and grow our high-tech sector is becoming a reality through partnerships such as this one.”

Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said “The investment of Globe in Upstate will not only create livable wage jobs but also train local workers in the emerging green technology field. This will serve as an example for companies and workers that New York State is committed to retraining our skilled workforce by providing opportunities in the innovative industries of tomorrow.”

About ESD:

Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency, encompassing business, workforce and community development.  ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.  For more information, visit

About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

Globe Specialty Metals Inc. is among the world’s largest producers of silicon metal and silicon-based specialty alloys, critical ingredients in a host of industrial and consumer products with growing markets. Customers include major silicone chemical, aluminum and steel manufacturers, auto companies and their suppliers, ductile iron foundries, manufacturers of photovoltaic solar cells and computer chips, and concrete producers. The company’s headquarters are in New York City.


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