Gov. Hochul: Plug Power a ‘leader of clean energy revolution’ in Genesee County

Genesee County

ALABAMA, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled to Genesee County Wednesday to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for energy innovation company Plug Power’s new facility, located at the Western New York STAMP tech campus.

STAMP (Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park) has long been hailed as a potential economic driver for the region, due to its facilities and location, between Rochester and Buffalo with nearby access to the New York State Thruway.

Plug Power is making a $290 million investment which will employ up to 60 people across a 30-acre site.

“STAMP is on the verge of transforming the economic ecosystem of the Buffalo-Niagara, Rochester, and Finger Lakes regions,” Gov. Hochul said.

Gov. Hochul said this idea began 15 years ago, and Plug Power’s technology could be transformed to become the “leader of the clean energy revolution.”

“This is where the clean energy revolution is happening,” Gov. Hochul said. “It’s happening here in Genesee County. We will have North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility. This is going to be a catalyst to other people of coming here. $290 million in green energy production right here. We are ready for the future it will produce 45 tons of hydrogen clean energy.”

Brenor Brophy, Vice President of Project Development for Plug Power, and Steve Hyde, the President & CEO for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, discussed the massive project with News 8 in March during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“We are building North America’s largest green hydrogen plant in Genesee County,” Brophy said. “It’s part of the first large plant in a national network that will serve our customers in material logistics, material handling, and ultimately in heavy-duty freight transportation. It’s going to be about 70 employees on a 30-acre site. We’re going to use clean hydropower to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then we chill that hydrogen down to a liquid that makes it easy to transport. We’ll then transport it by truck to all of our customers in the Northeast region.”

Brophy most hydrogen is made from fossil fuel. The new facility will be the first commercial scale plant in the U.S. making hydrogen purely from renewable energy with zero waste and zero emissions. Hyde said it offers Plug Power tremendous advantages.

“What makes STAMP unique is that we have a 1,250-acre mega-site where companies can access 100 percent renewable electricity that’s highly reliable and priced at under 3.5 cents a kilowatt-hour with our region’s plentiful hydropower supplies,” Hyde said. “And that’s really enabled through the strategic partnership that we have with the New York Power Authority.”

Plug Power will now have two major facilities in the region. Brophy said the company has been won over by the local resources.

“So for our STAMP site, it really was the exceptional access to significant amounts of low-cost clean energy,” Brophy said. “And then we’ve already announced our Innovation Center in Henrietta which is 375 jobs in manufacturing for our fuel cells and electrolyzer technology – so that’s really attracted by the capable labor pool here. It’s a high-tech center and a lot of the equipment that we manufacture in Henrietta is actually going to end up installed at the STAMP site making hydrogen.”

Plug Power is also making a $125 million investment in an Innovation Center in Henrietta, which will create an additional 377 new jobs for the Rochester area.

“The whole ecosystem of what Plug Power is doing in Rochester has a direct effort on what is happening here,” Gov. Hochul said. “Forklifts are being built everywhere, why not power hem with hydrogen? These investments, here and in Rochester, are leading the clean energy revolution.”

New York Power Authority is supporting the Plug Power project with the following incentives:

  • A 10-megawatt allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project.
  • $1.5 million from the Western New York Power Proceeds program.
  • 143 MW of High-Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market, drastically lowering electric bills through a reduction in electricity delivery chargers.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer traveled to STAMP last month to announce plans to grow and attract new jobs and tenants at the facility. Schumer said the plan to bring more economic activity to STAMP was a two-pronged approach: Recruit Samsung to choose the location for its new chip factory, and build up Plug Power, which has already announced a significant investment at the campus.

Schumer previously announced that Samsung was considering the site for its proposed $17 billion factory. The senator said earlier this year that the campus, located in the Town of Alabama, was under consideration for the project, which would create approximately 1,900 jobs.

Samsung is hoping to open the plant late next year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Senator Schumer said in a January statement, the Samsung plant would be a “game-changer for the region.”

Earlier this year, former Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the “largest green energy initiative by any state in U.S. history” during a portion of his annual State of the State Address. The $26 billion private-public partnership initiative was to involve wind and solar projects throughout the state.

The then-governor said once completed, the green energy projects would reduce carbon emissions by 16 metric tons per year, while creating “good-paying” jobs.

Watch Full Press Conference:


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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