Solar company picks Rochester for research center

Apr 21, 2011

New Jersey-based solar company Natcore Technology is establishing a research center at Kodak's Eastman Business Park.

That's the word from Natcore ahead of a meeting today with local officials.

The solar company says it's consolidating its research work in Rochester. The new center will initially be staffed by eight people.

In a statement, Natcore CEO Chuck Provini says the company chose Rochester for several reasons.

"It will give us access to Kodak's considerable prowess in thin-film technology and much of the infrastructure we will require," said Provini. "In addition, we can tap expertise at Rochester's distinguished universities."

It's a small victory for Eastman Business Park, as well as Rep. Louise Slaughter. Earlier this month the Department of Energy rejected Kodak's application for a federal grant, which would've brought a much larger operation - a Natcore manufacturing line - to the business park.

Slaughter says she had lobbied hard to secure the $8 million grant. Natcore says Slaughter has been instrumental in bringing the company to Rochester.

According to Natcore, the new research center will consist of two labs, a clean room and some administrative offices. The center will be housed in Building #82 of Eastman Business Park.

To fill the eight jobs, Natcore says it will soon begin interviewing "chemical engineers, electrical engineers, materials scientists, and technicians."