A proposed $35-million solar energy research center, Solar Energy Consortium, in New York recently received $5 million in start-up money. The state’s economic development agency has agreed to provide $1.5 million to attract solar companies to the Solar Energy Consortium’s planned site at a former IBM Corp. plant in Kingston, N.Y. The money supplements the $3.5 million secured by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) for the private-public consortium in August.

Proponents of the non-profit center expect this solar “brain center” to pioneer solar technologies and help situate solar companies within the state as it aims to produce 2,000MW — enough to serve more than 600,000 average U.S. homes — within a decade. Hinchey predicts the project would “revolutionize the way we all live while helping to save the planet from global warming.”