Governor Cuomo Congratulates Solar City Project on Receiving
National Award

Governor Cuomo Congratulates Solar City Project on Receiving
National Award

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 14:53
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Leading National Trade Publication Declares Buffalo Billion-Funded Project as 2014 Economic Development Project of the Year

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Area Development, a national trade publication covering site selection and facility planning, has selected the SolarCity development project at RiverBend as the magazine’s 2014 Economic Development Project of the Year in New York State. The publication also awarded the State its Silver Shovel award for statewide development projects initiated in 2014.

“This award for SolarCity is another exciting example of how the state’s investment at RiverBend is paying off,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project is transforming the region’s economy by creating a more vibrant clean energy sector, and bringing thousands of new jobs in the process. As a key part of our Buffalo Billion strategy, this project is all about creating new opportunities for New Yorkers in the region, and I am proud to see it earn this well-deserved distinction.”

Area Development, Annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, and promotions that attract new employers and investments in expanded facilities.

Howard Zemsky, President & CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, said, “Momentum keeps building on this amazing project and an award such as this from Area Development is further indication that the game changing quality of this project, which we maintained from the moment it was announced, is recognized from outside national experts. The development landscape of Buffalo and Western New York has not looked this bright for generations. Thanks to the commitment of Governor Cuomo this project and many others are literally transforming our region.”

SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said, “We are excited for our new facility in Buffalo, as the region has a decades old relationship to the manufacturing sector. By building a strong relationship with the local universities, including the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, we hope to lead manufacturing resurgence in this area with a skilled workforce.”

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute said, "This highly distinguished recognition for Governor Andrew Cuomo's transformative RiverBend development from a prestigious publication speaks to the strategic planning and execution of the project by the Governor and his team, and the unprecedented job creation it is bringing to Western New York. Under the Governor's leadership, RiverBend is moving forward on-time and under budget. With SolarCity, IBM and AMRI actively ramping up their Buffalo operations, the Governor's investments have Western New York on the fast-track to long-term, innovation-driven economic vitality and high-paying job creation and retention."

Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top-10 job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2014 were considered. The Shovel Awards are given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity

This year, Silver Shovels are being awarded to 16 other states in five population categories (California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania (12+ million); Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio (8+ to 12 million); Arizona, Indiana, Wisconsin (5+ to 8 million); Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana (3+ to 5 million population); Kansas, Mississippi, and Utah (3 million or fewer population), and one project in each population group is recognized as a 2014 Project of the Year.

A report on the 2015 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2015 issue of Area Development posted online at


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