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Economy

A Solar Bet to Recharge Buffalo

Andrew Cuomo and Elon Musk are the faces of a $750 million plan to revitalize Buffalo's economy with a factory for SolarCity. There’s little reason to believe in their vision so far.
Buffalo is counting on Elon Musk's SolarCity to produce local jobs, but he has been clear that his ultimate goals are “lights-out factories” featuring “machines that build the machines.”
Buffalo is counting on Elon Musk's SolarCity to produce local jobs, but he has been clear that his ultimate goals are “lights-out factories” featuring “machines that build the machines.”Noah Berger/Reuters

This post is part of a CityLab series on power—the political kind, the stuff inside batteries and gas tanks, and the transformative might of mass movements.

Whether it was Buffalo’s early prosperity or its failed attempts to fight off decline since, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sees something there that has held his fascination as long as he’s been governor of New York State.