Plug Power to invest $290 million in New York hydrogen fuel production facility

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week that Plug Power will invest $290 million in the construction of a green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama, Genesee County, powered in part by hydroelectricity.

The Plug Power project is the first build at the STAMP site and will require that the company fund the construction of a 450-MW electric substation to support its expansion, as well as future growth opportunities at the business park. STAMP is a 1,250-acre site located at the center of upstate New York’s largest population, research and workforce training hubs. Connected with New York’s high-tech corridor by New York State Thruway, STAMP will be serviced by high-capacity, 100% renewable power sources.

Plug Power has also committed to creating 68 jobs at the new facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily. Plug Power’s commitment to develop its green hydrogen fuel production facility in New York is the result of a comprehensive state and local incentive package from the New York Power Authority, Empire State Development and Genesee County. Construction on the new facility is expected to begin this summer.

“New York State is committed to establishing itself as the leader in the national effort toward a more renewable future focused on green energy excellence, and we’re showing that protecting the environment and encouraging economic growth aren’t mutually exclusive,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are incredibly proud to partner with Plug Power once again and applaud the company’s continued investment in the Finger Lakes region and to its commitment to creating top-quality green jobs as we work to foster new investment and job growth during a difficult economic time for many New Yorkers.”

The state incentives directly support the Governor’s ambitious Green Energy program, which will spur more than $29 billion in public and private investment across the state and create 12,400 MW of green energy, according to a press release. The investments will help shift the state toward a carbon neutral economy, fulfilling the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYPA’s incentives, which are subject to approval by its Board of Trustees next month, will mark the first NYPA customer approved for economic development incentives under its new green jobs criteria, announced by the Governor in December. The Governor is recommending that the NYPA board approve these incentives:

  • 10-MW allocation of low-cost hydropower from the 2,525-MW 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.

Empire State Development will provide up to $2 million in Excelsior Tax Credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Genesee County will provide additional local tax incentives, pending approvals by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

“The state’s clean energy economy is growing rapidly under the Governor’s leadership and Plug Power is seizing the plentiful opportunities for green energy companies to expand and flourish in New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Leveraging NYPA’s carbon-free hydropower from the Niagara Power Project to attract a firm dedicated to the development of green hydrogen for fuel cell applications is an example of how we should address the climate crisis.”

The Plug Power expansion is part of a strategy to construct up to seven hydrogen production facilities across North America by 2022. In January, the Governor announced that Plug Power will be establishing a $125 million Innovation Center in Monroe County, creating 377 new jobs. That facility will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks for its ProGen hydrogen fuel cell engines used to power a variety of electric vehicles, including material handling equipment, on-road commercial fleet vehicles and drones.

“Plug Power’s future rightfully revolves around building the green hydrogen economy,” said Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh. “We are grateful our home state of New York supports aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives. And, that Plug Power’s green hydrogen solutions can make such an impact on positive environmental and economic climates in the state. Many thanks to the leaders of New York State for their continued support.”

Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of the project or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region. The NYPA funding award is made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated at NYPA’s Niagara power plant and stems from power proceeds legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2012.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the U.S., operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80% of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower.

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