The company, 1366 Technologies, said it has scrapped its plans to build a factory to make silicon wafers at the STAMP site in the Town of Alabama after failing to receive federal loan guarantees that it was counting on to finance the project.
The problem, 1366 Technologies officials said, was that the company never was able to complete an agreement for $150 million in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Genesee County factory, which would have been built by the state, would have been the first tenant in the 1,250-acre Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park, or WNY STAMP. The factory was expected to be developed in phases, with initial production expected to make enough wafers to produce 250 megawatts of solar-powered electricity a year.
1366 Technologies is developing methods that it believes will allow the company to produce silicon wafers – the basic ingredient of solar cells – at half the cost of traditional methods once its 130,000-square-foot factory begins operating next year.
If the market developed as 1366 Technologies executives hoped, the plant eventually could have been expanded to increase its capacity twelve-fold, with the ability to produce enough wafers to make solar panels with 3 gigawatts of generating capacity annually.
Instead, 1366 Technologies will focus on building its first plant at an undisclosed overseas location.
The company did not completely close the door on ever building a factory in Western New York, but that wouldn’t happen until 1366 Technologies establishes its overseas production and builds a market for its silicon wafer products.