Statement from Ray Gillen, Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Schenectady County and Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority

October 14, 2011

We are very pleased that GE will add a total of 100 new jobs at the company’s Renewable Energy Headquarters in downtown Schenectady and at the Global Research Center in Niskayuna.

With regard to the production facility, GE told us from the beginning of this project that the company required an existing building with more than 200,000 square feet of space.  GE needed an existing building to meet market demand for new solar technology products.

Schenectady County has no existing buildings of this size to meet GE’s requirements. In fact, the company did not find a single building in New York State that met its needs.

The company currently builds solar panels at its PrimeStar facility in Arvada, Colorado.  GE was able to locate a facility that met its needs in Colorado close to its existing solar panel production facility.

In the end, the fact that we did not have a building anywhere close to the size that GE was looking for was the critical factor.

We support GE’s decision as we know that Schenectady will benefit as the company continues to land orders for solar panels.  The Global Research Center in Niskayuna will continue to play a leading role in supporting the growth of GE Solar. In addition, as the solar business is a direct report to the GE Renewable Energy Headquarters located in Schenectady, Schenectady will benefit as the solar business is supported from here in much the same way that Schenectady supports GE’s wind turbine business from the Renewable Energy Headquarters.  We are already seeing the benefits of this growth in GE’s solar business with the announcement of 100 new jobs headed to Schenectady.

Schenectady County’s economic development team would like to thank our colleagues at GE, Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Duffy, Empire State Development and the Center for Economic Growth for all of their leadership and hard work in this effort.  Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko did a great job in advocating for a NYS location with GE.  We also appreciate the continued leadership from IUE/CWA 301 in their ongoing efforts to position the Schenectady Energy campus for continued growth.

We also thank GE for making eight major investments in Schenectady County during the past seven years.  Today’s announcement about 100 new jobs is now the eighth such expansion.  GE has invested $200 million and created more than 1,100 new jobs in Schenectady County since 2004.

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