Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that leading 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. The company 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 located, at 1025 John Street, 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 for this major project. Monroe County, Rochester Gas and Electric and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the project.
“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said,“This new innovation center in Monroe County is a testament to Plug Power’s commitment and success in New York State. 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.”
In addition to today’s announcement, Plug Power in 2019 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 anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. The company also recently announced a partnership 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, Plug Power and SK Group intend to provide hydrogen fuel cell systems, hydrogen fueling stations, and electrolyzers to the Korean and broader Asian markets. The company is also partnering with Europe’s second-largest automaker Groupe Renault of France to produce fuel cell-powered commercial trucks.
“We are thrilled to expand in our home state of New York, announcing Rochester, New York 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 Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Joe Morelle, and many from Empire State Development and Greater Rochester Enterprise.”
Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading green energy 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 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.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has supported innovative companies by investing in, among other industries, advanced manufacturing and sustainable energy production. ESD is proud partner of Plug Power as it expands operations and develops new technologies, which will move the Finger Lakes economy forward, strengthen the state’s commitment to clean energy, and create the jobs of tomorrow.”
Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said, “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. 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.”
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 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. 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.”
Congressman Joe Morelle said, “With our wealth of fuel cell expertise and manufacturing know-how, Rochester is the perfect location to host Plug Power’s PEM Stack and Electrolyzer Gigafactory. Our city welcomes long-time supporter Plug Power’s newest location and we look forward to filling these hundreds of new jobs with Rochester’s best and brightest talent. I’m grateful to Plug Power and to Governor Cuomo for his continued dedication to the growth of Rochester’s innovation sector.”
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, “Plug Power’s decision to bring its new innovation center to Henrietta is great news for the residents of Monroe County and the Finger Lakes Region. The area’s reputation as a technology hub continues to grow thanks to the highly skilled and dedicated workforce. Power Plug’s commitment and investment sends a positive message about our region and will help attract other businesses looking to start or expand operations.”
Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “I applaud Andy Marsh, and the team at Plug Power 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. As Chair of the Assembly’s Economic Development, 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 is an ideal fit for Plug Power’s new innovation center, which will utilize our highly skilled local workforce and continue our region’s reputation as a leader in advanced technology, engineering, manufacturing and renewable energy production. Monroe County is committed to creating a more sustainable and energy efficient community, Plug Power’s presence will help to strengthen that commitment. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and New York State for their important investment in this project, and so many others like it throughout Monroe County.”
Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “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. 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.”
Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E said, “RG&E is excited to be a strategic partner in this initiative which will put Rochester at the forefront of unlocking the clean energy economy for New York state. 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 working with our fellow economic development and community partners to make this project a reality.”