“It is a pleasure and honor to be at this signing ceremony this morning. I want to applaud Thomas Montante and his team for their vision to undertake solar energy projects here in our Town of Tonawanda. I also want to applaud the Shanghai New Energy Industry Association for their interest and desire to bring their knowledge and expertise in solar technology to our area. Today’s ceremony represents the dawn of a new beginning for our community and all of Western New York
“New York State – especially Western New York – is an ideal environment for developers of clean, renewal energy. We have an abundant supply of sun, wind and water, thereby giving us an abundance of resources with which to develop and build a clean energy infrastructure. As we move in that direction, we have the ability to create good paying jobs as we retrofit plants, businesses and homes and at the same time create the manufacturing facilities to make the products that are essential to implementing these new technologies.
“New York is now at an important crossroads. Experts predict that New York State will require at least another 10 to 15 percent of additional power generating capacity over the next 10 years just to meet growing demand. At the same time, New York has committed to a ‘45 by 15’goal to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable resources by 2015. Additional goals outlined by the Governor include the New Economy Jobs Plan and the push to reduce current greenhouse gas emissions from all sources within the state by 80 percent below levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050. A key component in reaching all of these goals is solar energy.
“To achieve these ambitious energy milestones, partnerships like the one forged today between TM Montante and the Shanghai New Energy Industry Association are critical. Bringing the solar energy business to the Town of Tonawanda and Western New York provides endless possibilities for economic growth, a cleaner environment and energy self-sufficiency. The Riverview Solar Technology Park project got another boot the other day when our Upstate Blueprint grant program awarded $1 million for infrastructure improvements to link the Riverview Commerce Park and the planned North Youngmann Commerce Center. This grant along with other incentives by New York State for solar development will, I hope, put this project on the fast track.
“I am elated to be able to help lay the groundwork for solar energy business to be brought into our backyard. The TM Montante/Shanghai New Energy Industry Association partnership is exactly what’s needed to fuel economic development growth and green jobs creation in our area. I truly hope that by this time next year, we’ll be standing outdoors for a groundbreaking event, celebrating another step in the growing partnership between these entities.”