© viktor gmyria dreamstime.com General | November 01, 2019
Cree nearing groundbreaking on Utica plant
Cree Inc. said this week it plans to begin working on its USD 1 billion factory, announced in September, located near Utica, New York.
In a recent earnings call, Cree CEO Gregg Lowe said, "We will be building that wafer fab — literally, we're going to be breaking ground I think in the next couple of weeks. That will ramp up in 2022,” according to a transcript obtained by the Albany Business Journal. The wafer fab includes a 480,000 sq. ft. plant to make silicon carbide semiconductors. Grants totaling USD 500 million will be provided by the state, with Cree pledging the creation of 600 jobs in return. "While we are at the early stages of the creation of the Mohawk Valley fab, the teams have already shifted the prep work into high gear and we expect the work on the site to begin soon," Lowe said Wednesday. "The initial grading work is scheduled to begin shortly and will create a level site to be turned over to Cree to begin construction once their team is selected," said Steven DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE, in a statement to the Business Journal. Cree had originally planned for one expansionꟷ at the Durham, North Carolina campus, but moved a portion of the project to upstate New York, citing incentive packages, available workforce talent in the region, and the bonus of a new build. Cree has referred to the dual-expansion as a “silicon carbide corridor” on the East Coast. During construction, Cree is leasing space at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany, including cleanroom space in the NanoFab North building, which houses a silicon carbide wafer manufacturing line.