Kingston’s TechCity has a new tenant in the newly-formed Solar Energy Consortium, headed by retired IBM-VP Vincent Cozzolino. This piece from the Daily Freeman is predictably boosterish, and there is reason for optimism. But there are also a lot of unanswered questions. It’s unclear exactly what the consortium will do: research? manufacturing? marketing? It’s also heavily (if not totally) reliant on state and federal money. As the story says: “Significant funding issues are still being worked out.” The Record story has a few more details, saying the group is looking for $136 million over five years. Yikes! Let’s hope they bring some private money in to ensure better accountability and returns.
Another eybrow-raiser: a 36-member board of directors. I’m sure they’re all smart and accomplished, but a board that big sounds like a recipe for inaction.
The consortium will take 300K square feet at the former IBM campus, a decent dent in the total 2.5 million square feet of space in 27 buildings on about 260 acres. According to the TechCity site, there are currently nine tenants, mostly small and medium-sized businesses, though IBM still maintains a presence and Bank of America is there, too. I attended a Hudson Valley Center for Innovation event there in March, and found the vast emptiness of the campus a bit depressing. Anything that will get some warm bodies into TechCity should have at least some upside.