In a related move, SolarCity also announced an agreement to buy Fremont, Calif.-based panel maker Silevo for an undisclosed sum. Both the manufacturing plant and the acquisition were announced in a joint blog post last month by three SolarCity executives.

"We are in discussions with the state of New York to build the initial manufacturing plant, continuing a relationship developed by the Silevo team," according to the blog by Elon Musk, SolarCity chairman; Peter Rive, co-founder and chief technology officer; and Lyndon Rive, co-founder and CEO.

"Although no other acquisitions are currently being contemplated, SolarCity may acquire additional photovoltaics companies as needed to ensure clear technology leadership," they said.

Silevo and Soraa, another clean tech firm, last year agreed to invest a total of $1.5 billion to develop a high-tech manufacturing hub in the RiverBend section of Buffalo.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in November that the state would invest $225 million to develop infrastructure for the hub. In announcing the plan—part of the state's Buffalo Billion initiative—Cuomo said that Silevo and Soraa would relocate major parts of their operations from California to the hub, creating 500 construction jobs and attracting other manufacturers.

"Under the largest investment in our Buffalo Billion initiative, we are building a state-of-the-art campus to house high-tech and advanced manufacturing companies that will create hundreds of jobs and leverage over $1 billion in private investment for Western New York," Cuomo said in a November statement.

New York City

PANYNJ OKs Funds for JFK Energy Conservation

The Port AuthoritY of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners has authorized $7.5 million for energy conservation improvements at John F. Kennedy Airport.

The project is expected to begin this fall and will include extensive interior lighting upgrades on roadways and pedestrian bridges and in parking lots and bus shelters. It will also include interior lighting improvements, steam system upgrades and a boiler replacement with conversion from oil to natural gas.