WNY Development: high tech data centers and solar energy

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM EDT

Solar City plans to build one of the largest solar panel production plants in the world at Riverbend Commerce Park in Buffalo. A report in this week's Business First shows how the California company is in the process of acquiring another west coast company to use its technology to build the plant. This is all part of Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion. The project would receive $200 million in public infastructure. Business First says other states are trying to land the project. We should know more about Solar City's acquisition and commitment to Buffalo next month. A second quarter earnings calls is set for the first part of August.

Amherst has landed BlackRock, Inc. The company will construct a back office data center worth nearly $80 million. Business First says the same factors that helped convince Yahoo to open its data center in Lockport played a critical role in this deal. Those are low cost hydropower and an intricate fiber optic network, along with tax breaks. Four years ago, Yahoo had 25 employees. Now that number has grown to more than 150. BlackRock is building its data center at Uniland's CrossPoint Business Park. It will also start with 25 employees at the engineering level. Construction should start this fall.

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