- NYS Supported Project Will Create Nearly 380 New Jobs
Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that leading alternative energy technology provider Plug Power Inc. has officially opened its new, $125 million Innovation Center in the Town of Henrietta, Monroe County.
“Plug Power is a key partner in New York State’s efforts to move both the state and the nation toward a more renewable future,” Governor Hochul said. “The state-of-the-art Innovation Center will help to further establish New York State as a green energy leader. This innovative company’s continued investment in statewide expansion is truly a testament to their commitment to create new, green jobs and to boost economic growth in their home state.”
With today’s announcement, Plug Power has established the world’s first ever Gigafactory for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology where it will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks and electrolyzers. The fuel cell stacks are used in its ProGen hydrogen fuel cell engines, which are used to power a variety of electric vehicles, including material handling equipment, on-road commercial fleet vehicles, and drones. The electrolyzers are utilized in the generation of green hydrogen from renewable electricity. The company is planning to create up to 377 new jobs at the John Street facility due to the support of Empire State Development, which is providing up to $13 million in Excelsior Tax Credits, and the New York Power Authority, which is providing 5.1 megawatts of low-cost ReCharge NY power. Monroe County, Rochester Gas and Electric, and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with the project.
Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power said, “We are pleased to welcome distinguished guests to the world’s first PEM stack and electrolyzer Plug Power Innovation Center, here in New York State’s Monroe County. This Rochester gigafactory positions Plug Power, and the region, as global leaders in PEM technology, driving scale and industry transformation in the global green hydrogen economy. I’d like to thank Governor Hochul, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Joe Morelle, Empire State Development, NYPA, RG & E, Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise for supporting and enabling us to grow jobs in Rochester, NY.”
In addition to today’s announcement, Plug Power recently broke ground on a $290 million, state-of-the-art, green hydrogen fuel production facility and electricity substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) located in the Town of Alabama, Genesee County. The company, the first tenant at the manufacturing park, is also funding the construction of a 450-megawatt electricity substation on site that will support its hydrogen projection facility and future growth opportunities at STAMP.
In 2019, Plug Power announced plans to expand its presence in New York State, investing $3.7 million to establish a Membrane Electrode Assemblies facility in Rochester’s Eastman Business Park, creating more than 80 new jobs. The company had also previously announced an expansion plan in the Capital Region committing to investing nearly $6.5 million to create more than 180 jobs statewide.
Founded in 1997 in Albany County, Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology, and as a result, has deployed over 38,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than any company in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. Plug Power announced a partnership earlier this year with SK Group, one of the leading South Korean business groups, to accelerate hydrogen as an alternative energy source in Asian markets. Through this partnership, both companies intend to provide hydrogen fuel cell systems, hydrogen fueling stations, and electrolyzers to the Korean and broader Asian markets. Plug Power is also partnering with Europe’s second-largest automaker Groupe Renault of France to produce fuel cell-powered commercial trucks.
Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, “New York State is committed to growing a green economy through our support of advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy. As a result of our continued partnership with Plug Power, this innovative company has been able to further expand its operations statewide, developing new technologies and strengthening clean energy initiatives that are creating the jobs of tomorrow”
NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll, said, “Through the ReChargeNY program, NYPA is currently supporting tens-of-thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in capital investments throughout the Finger Lakes region. The Power Authority’s support for Plug Power’s Innovation Center in Henrietta builds upon NYPA’s statewide support of the green hydrogen producer at multiple locations around the state, creating hundreds of additional jobs while increasing the firm’s output of green hydrogen to support New York State’s transition to a clean energy economy.”
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality, including a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040 with 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments.
Combined, these investments supported more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a 2100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities while making progress toward the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, “I’m ecstatic that Plug Power heeded my call to make Monroe County the home of its new hydrogen fuel cell Innovation Center Gigafactory. Rochester’s powerhouse workforce pioneered cutting edge hydrogen fuel cell technology and can now help drive Plug Power’s revolutionary clean energy technology to new heights. Nearly 380 new clean energy jobs will now supercharge Rochester, positioning the region as a global hub in the green economy. Together with an unprecedented $9.5 billion federal investment that I just secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to expand the hydrogen fuel cell industry, the Gigafactory’s opening today comes at the perfect time to power up even more Rochester jobs and growth at Plug Power to jumpstart the 21st century hydrogen economy.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, “Partnerships with clean energy manufacturers are key to ensuring that New York remains a leader in green technology. Plug Power’s Innovation Center will help protect our environment, promote energy independence, and create jobs in Monroe County. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Hochul and other leaders to promote clean energy in New York.”
Congressman Joe Morelle said, “I’m thrilled by Plug Power’s latest project which will continue to strengthen the future of Monroe County. Plug Power is proof that investments in innovation can spark our regional economy, create good-paying jobs, and support New York’s sustainable energy priorities all at the same time. I grateful to Plug Power for realizing the potential of Monroe County and welcome yet another expansion into our region.”
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, “The Finger Lakes Region has long been associated with the technology industry and Plug Power’s decision to open its Innovation Center in Henrietta is just the latest example. The company’s commitment to Monroe County sends a positive message about the continued growth of the upstate economy, the ongoing effort to revitalize manufacturing and the skilled workforce available to help businesses succeed. New York must continue to lower taxes and the cost of doing business to encourage more projects such as this and the jobs they create.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “As Chair of the Assembly’s Economic Development Committee, I applaud Andy Marsh, and the team at Plug Power for their commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Governor Hochul 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 Plug Power’s growth and the addition of new jobs at their new Henrietta campus.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County was named as the top area in the country best positioned to jump-start our nation’s innovation economy. Our strong support for both technology and clean energy is now furthered with the new Plug Power Inc. hydrogen fuel cell innovation center. This new project brings hundreds of tech jobs to our community and expands opportunities for clean energy, and a more sustainable future.”
Henrietta Town Supervisor Stephen L. Schultz said, “We are happy that Plug Power chose Henrietta for its new facilities and that it has revitalized an existing structure rather than building new. They are located in one of the many office parks located south of the RIT campus that comprise our mixed-use employment center and we look forward to the continued growth in jobs we are seeing in that area as developers step up to the plate and bring in exciting new companies like Plug Power. What makes this addition even more exciting is that it is part of a growing number of “green companies” developing solutions that will help with our climate issues. The Town of Henrietta has launched a number of green initiatives and it will be a point of pride to not only house the Golisano Institute of Sustainability on the RIT Campus, but to be home to exciting companies with sustainable solutions, like Plug Power.”
Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E said, “Today is an exciting day as we officially welcome Plug Power to the Greater Rochester community. RG&E is proud to be a strategic partner in unlocking the clean energy economy for New York state and helping Rochester take a leading role. One of our fundamental values is to be a catalyst for growth in the communities we serve, and this initiative supports that on multiple levels, including significant capital investment, new jobs, and creating a cleaner NY environment. We look forward to continuing to work with our fellow economic development and community partners throughout the course of this project.”
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy said, “Plug Power’s commitment to growth here in Greater Rochester and Western New York is a testament to our stellar resources of talent, infrastructure, and smart investments on behalf of our region. Their hydrogen fuel cell technology is driving the future of renewable energy, and we are proud to be the site of such ground-breaking innovation. Our thanks go to Governor Kathy Hochul, ESD, NYPA, and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, and our congratulations to Andy Marsh and the Plug Power team at the opening of this impressive facility.
Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Talent, strategic business partners, and the ability to quickly connect and leverage assets made the Greater Rochester, NY region the smart location for Pack Smart’s expansion. Numerous economic development partners collaborated to ensure Pack Smart received a comprehensive package of benefits to accelerate its business growth plans.”
For additional information about Plug Power, visit https://www.plugpower.com/.
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 regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. 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.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.