4/22/2014 1:00:00 PM

Global Leader in Solar Cell Manufacturing Eyes New York for Major Expansion Outside of Japan

CNSE and Solar Frontier Explore $700 Million Investment, Job Creation in New York State

ALBANY, NY – Global CIS thin-film PV module leader and manufacturer Solar Frontier K.K. of Japan and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) announced today they have entered into an agreement to explore development and implementation of a joint research, development, and manufacturing initiative in New York State, with the creation of more than 1,000 jobs and nearly $700 million in investments projected.

Solar Frontier is one of the premier photovoltaic solar companies in the world, and the largest provider of affordable, advanced CIS solar energy solutions for commercial and residential use. Due to increased worldwide demand and forecasts for continued strength in solar panel sales, Solar Frontier has started developing blueprints and making preparations for future manufacturing facilities overseas, including potential sites throughout New York. The collaboration with CNSE represents an important step in Solar Frontier’s plans to establish production bases for its proprietary technology outside of Japan, the company’s home market that currently accounts for 100% of its production.

“We are honored to work with New York State and CNSE to advance our proprietary CIS technology R&D and manufacturing in New York,” said Hiroto Tamai, President and Representative Director of Solar Frontier. “Collaboration would provide Solar Frontier the opportunity for significant growth, by establishing overseas production bases and advancing our company as a global leader in solar energy. And under the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York is a leading candidate for an international manufacturing facility.”

“This announcement is a direct result of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s s NY-Sun and Energy Highway initiatives to make New York an international leader in green energy innovation and manufacturing, and our partnership with Solar Frontier is excellent proof of the success of the governor’s initiatives,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, CEO of CNSE. “Solar Frontier recognizes New York is uniquely capable of supporting the level of research, development and manufacturing it requires. We thank Tamai san and the leadership of Solar Frontier for their confidence in our great state and look forward to a successful partnership with such a world leader in photovoltaic technologies.”

CNSE and Solar Frontier have signed an agreement to explore building a key Solar Frontier solar module manufacturing plant outside Japan in western New York and establishing Solar Frontier’s North American headquarters at CNSE in Albany. Development and implementation of the initiative is projected to generate over $678 million in investments over 7 years. Solar Frontier anticipates the creation of 250 direct research, development, and manufacturing jobs, and 700-1000 indirect jobs from contractors and suppliers expected to locate in and around its New York facilities.


About SUNY CNSE. The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) is the world leader in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, with more than $20 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,100 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty. CNSE maintains a statewide footprint, operating the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. CNSE co-founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at SUNYIT and is lead developer of the Marcy Nanocenter site in Utica, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Complex, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information, visit

About Solar Frontier K.K. Solar Frontier K.K., a 100% subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (TYO:5002) (“Solar Frontier”), has a mission to create the most economical, ecological solar energy solutions on Earth. Building on a legacy of work in solar energy since the 1970s, Solar Frontier today develops and manufactures CIS (denoting copper, indium, selenium) thin-film solar modules for customers in all sectors around the world. Solar Frontier’s gigawatt-scale production facilities in Miyazaki, Japan, integrate compelling economical and ecological advantages into every module: from lower energy requirements in manufacturing to the higher overall output (kWh) of CIS in real operating conditions. Solar Frontier is headquartered in Tokyo, with offices in Europe, the U.S.A., and the Middle East. For information, visit


Media Contact:

Jerry Gretzinger, CNSE VP of Strategic Communications and Public Relations
(518) 956-7359 |