Governor Cuomo Announces Plug Power Expansion in the Finger Lakes Region

By February 24, 2019 7   min read  (1333 words)

February 24, 2019 |

Plug Power Expansion Finger Lakes Announcement
  • Company is Investing $3.7 Million to Establish Operations at Eastman Business Park – Will Create More Than 80 Jobs in Monroe County, 180 Jobs Statewide
  • Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of alternative energy technology headquartered in Latham, Albany County, is expanding in the Finger Lakes region. The company is investing $3.7 million to establish a Membrane Electrode Assemblies facility in Rochester’s Eastman Business Park, creating more than 80 new jobs.

Combined with a previously announced expansion plan in the Capital Region, the company has committed to investing nearly $6.5 million total to create more than 180 jobs statewide. This project furthers New York State’s commitment to clean, renewable energy and complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative strategy to encourage community and economic growth.

“Plug Power is a key partner in New York State’s nation-leading efforts to move away from dirty power sources and toward renewable energy products such as hydrogen fuel cells,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new investment and expansion at Eastman Business Park will create new green jobs, boost economic growth and continue to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

“Plug Power joins the growing list of companies expanding and creating jobs in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today’s announcement in Rochester. “This investment is a boost for good paying clean energy jobs and complements our statewide efforts to focus on renewable energy production to combat the growing threat of climate change.”

Today’s announcement builds upon New York State’s partnership with Plug Power, which includes a $45 million credit facility provided to the company by NY Green Bank in 2017 to support clean technology deployment and accelerate innovation.

Plug Power previously announced that it was investing nearly $2.8 million to create a model Hub and Spoke Fuel Distribution center and sub-assembly manufacturing facility in Clifton Park, Saratoga County. Empire State Development is supporting this project by providing up to $1.2 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.

Plug Power last year also announced that it had acquired Rochester-based American Fuel Cell, a company that received investment support from New York Ventures, Empire State Development’s venture capital division. American Fuel Cell creates Membrane Electrode Assembly technology, which allows fuel cells to create power and generate clean sources of electricity. New York Ventures is dedicated to encouraging innovation and fueling economic growth in communities across the state.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “New York State’s strategic investments in advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy production are supporting innovators like Plug Power in developing new technologies that will drive both the Finger Lakes economy and build the state’s commitment to clean energy industries.”

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said, “It’s an exciting time to be in the clean energy industry, with people leaning in to support businesses that value corporate social responsibility. This deep understanding of the global challenges we face today and the need for clean, sustainable solutions, is creating demand within the alternative energy space. The people behind Plug Power’s technology are the driving force of hydrogen fuel cell innovation and adoption. With the support of Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development, we’re looking forward to continually growing this community, providing more jobs to the hardworking people in the Finger Lakes Region.”

Congressman Joe Morelle said, “New York has always been a leader in green energy and innovative technology – Plug Power continues that legacy by leveraging our core assets to invest in advanced manufacturing that strengthens our local economy, creates new clean tech jobs while shrinking our carbon footprint. I am grateful to Plug Power and our many government and community partners who remain dedicated to creating new job opportunities and working towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.”

Senator Joe Robach said, “Every job is critically important to our local workforce and economy. Plug Power’s expansion into Eastman Business Park is a perfect fit for this first class facility and our highly skilled workforce. Clean energy is in demand and Rochester is quickly becoming a leader in energy innovation thanks to investments like the one being made by Plug Power.”

State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “I applaud Andy Marsh and the team at Power Plug for their commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Governor Cuomo shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. I look forward to Power Plug’s growth and the addition of new jobs at their expanded Rochester campus.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I want to congratulate Plug Power for its expansion in Eastman Business Park. The success of this business will move Rochester closer to becoming a leader in green technology and advance our efforts to fight climate change by becoming cleaner, greener, more sustainable city. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for making this expansion possible through Finger Lakes Forward and helping us create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, “An amazing company with a passion for the advancement of renewable and clean energy, Plug Power is an incredible addition to an already vibrant Eastman Business Park. Their expansion is great news for the future of local families as they bring more jobs and opportunity to our community. Monroe County stands committed to supporting Plug Power through our industry leading workforce development initiatives, including our highly successful LadderzUp and Recruiting on the Road programs.”

Founded in 1997, Plug Power is focused on the design, development, commercialization and manufacture of hydrogen and fuel cell systems. Plug Power provides and develops commercially-viable hydrogen and fuel cell product solutions to replace lead-acid batteries in electric material handling vehicles and industrial trucks for some of the world’s largest distribution and manufacturing businesses. The company is focusing its efforts on electric forklifts and electric industrial vehicles at multi-shift high volume manufacturing and distribution sites to provide a unique combination of productivity, flexibility and environmental benefits.

Plug Power is another valuable addition to the Finger Lakes region’s developing ecosystem specializing in advanced batteries and energy storage devices.  Eastman Business Park’s 1,200-acre campus is also home to The Kodak Cell Assembly Center, created in partnership with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium. NY-BEST has also partnered at EBP with DNV GL, a global energy consultancy company that specializes in energy testing, inspection and certification, to operate the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Test & Commercialization Center in Building 308 at EBP, and they are working with the Rochester Institute of Technology through its Battery Prototyping Center to support the development of emerging battery and energy storage technologies. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is committed to driving innovation and creating new good jobs as a result of these area collaborations in this high-growth industry.

For more about Plug Power click here.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.


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