- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The head of a solar power company and New York’s governor have broken ground for a new factory at the site of a former steel mill in Buffalo.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, they said manufacturing solar panels could begin in 2016, and the project should create about 1,500 factory jobs and employ more than 2,000 others statewide in the next five years providing related solar services.

The state is establishing the former Republic Steel site along the Buffalo River as a clean-energy hub.

Lyndon Rive, chief executive of San Mateo, California-based SolarCity, says it can exponentially increase output capacity.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the region’s cheap hydropower a key component.

Officials say the company is expected to spend $5 billion over the next decade with New York investing $750 million at the state-owned site.

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