Ciminelli releases Riverbend SolarCity statement

Posted at 12:25 PM, Feb 26, 2016

Late Friday evening, , LP Ciminelli of Buffalo, released the following statement regarding the layoffs at Riverbend SolarCity project:

"As the developer for the landmark RiverBend Solar City project, we've been assured that the funding will be dispersed the first thing next week.  We will begin getting in touch with contractors this weekend with the expectation that workers will be back on the job and the project's construction schedule will remain on course."



There have been at least 120 layoffs at Riverbend, where SolarCity is under construction, due to late payments from New York state to contractors.

Empire State Development spokesman Jason Conwall said in a statement that "payments are being processed" and "we do not expect this to result in any layoffs." But a source tells 7 Eyewitness News that contractors haven't been paid by New York State since October, leading to at least 120 layoffs.

Reporter Ali Touhey is working to learn more about this developing story and trying to figure out why there is mixed messages from the contractors working on the project and the state. Follow her on Twitter for the latest.

The state's investing $500 million in the project ($350 million in capital and $150 million in tax credits) through the Buffalo Billion and $250 million in other state resources. The facility will be the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere with more than 1 gigawatt of annual solar capacity when it reaches full production.

According to Conwall, "This project remains on schedule and is slated to be open in the Third Quarter of 2017, bringing nearly 1,500 new jobs to Western New York."

We've reached out to the main developer, LP Ciminelli of Buffalo, for an update.