Plug Power Inc. To Build New Innovation Center In New York State

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Alternative energy technology provider Plug Power Inc. will establish a $125 million Innovation Center in New York State creating 377 new jobs. The center, located in the Town of Henrietta, Monroe County, will be the first world’s first Gigafactory for Proton Exchange Membrane technology.

Plug Power will use this facility to 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. Renovation work on the facility will begin in the first quarter of 2021 with manufacturing expected to begin in mid-2021. The company’s decision to expand operations and continued investment and job creation in New York is supported by Empire State Development, which is providing $13 million in Excelsior Tax Credits. Monroe County, Rochester Gas and Electric and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the project.

Monroe County, NY
(Photo: Plug Power Inc.)

“We are thrilled to expand in our home state of New York, announcing Rochester, NY as the location for the world’s first PEM stack and electrolyzer Plug Power Innovation Center,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “Among many great options, none could match Rochester in terms of talent, local supplier networks, and opportunities to partner with top-tier research institutions. With this decision, we are positioning the company and the region as global leaders in PEM technology, driving scale and industry transformation. Many thanks to New York state for its’ continued support including Governor [Andrew M.] Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Joe Morelle, and many from Empire State Development and Greater Rochester Enterprise.”

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.

“For years, Plug Power has been a critical partner in helping move both the state and nation towards a cleaner, greener future, as well as in helping strengthen local economies and create jobs,” said Governor Cuomo. “The company’s continued investment and expansion in the Finger Lakes region is truly a testament to their commitment to this effort. This state-of-the-art Innovation Center will not only further establish New York a center for green energy excellence and create hundreds of jobs, but also play a key role in helping reach the goals set forth in our nation-leading climate and clean energy agenda.”

“This new innovation center in Monroe County is a testament to Plug Power’s commitment and success in New York State,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The investment will create about 380 new jobs in the area and continue to advance the high-tech industry in the Finger Lakes region and across the state. New York is proud to support energy companies like Plug Power that are building on our efforts to increase renewable energy and help to build back better, cleaner and greener to strengthen the economy, combat climate change, and create new opportunities.”

Governor Cuomo’s green energy agenda calls 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 achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus.

“Plug Power’s Gigafactory commitment is a clear example of how Governor Cuomo’s support for innovation stimulates the green economy and creates jobs as part of his nation-leading clean energy and climate plan,” said Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. “New York State’s support of Plug Power is driving technology that helps lower harmful emissions from one of the largest contributing sectors in the state, helping deliver cleaner air for all.”

“I’m ecstatic that Plug Power heeded my call to make Monroe County the home of its new hydrogen fuel cell Gigafactory,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “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. Over 175 new clean energy jobs will now supercharge Rochester, positioning the region as a global hub in the green economy. I thank Governor Cuomo and commend New York State for its support to help enable Plug Power, a proud Upstate NY-based business with deep roots and hundreds of NYS workers, to double down here by building its biggest manufacturing factory in Monroe County.”

“Plug Power’s decision to develop its fuel cell and hydrogen solutions in the Greater Rochester, NY region further enhances our community’s thriving energy innovation ecosystem,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise. “The incredibly talented workforce, extraordinarily skilled at fuel cell and material science, along with exceptional teamwork with our economic development partners, made the Greater Rochester, NY region the smart location for Plug Power’s expansion.”

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