Genesee Co. solar energy project receives $10M investment from Korean company

ALABAMA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Genesee County solar project is receiving a big boost from a Korean company.

After it was announced in October that the Town of Alabama would be the site of a new solar energy plant, the project has since received pledges of millions of dollars in funding from both Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion program and now, Hanwha Investment Corporation.

“Hanwha Investment Corporation actively seeks out companies with groundbreaking technologies that transform industries. In just a short period of time, 1366 has moved from proof of concept to commercial-ready technology, achieving technical milestones steadily and rapidly. We believe the 1366 team is well positioned for commercial success,” said Woojae Hahn, President and CEO of Hanwha.

The Korean company invested $10 million into 1366 Technologies’ local project, which will create wafers used in making solar energy panels.

The Massachusetts-based company’s local solar plant is expected to create 1,000 jobs as part of the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) project.

“Our Direct Wafer technology represents one of the most significant manufacturing innovations in solar, with the potential to propel the industry forward and deliver dramatic cost advantages,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 Technologies. “We are thrilled that Hanwha Investment Corporation, with its deep expertise in and understanding of the manufacturing industry, has invested. It is a tremendous validation of our commercialization plans, and a clear signal that we’re poised to disrupt the $10 billion and growing silicon solar wafer market.”

The plant is expected to be up and running in 2017.