$125 million Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation Center launches in New York state


US-based electrical equipment manufacturing company Plug Power has partnered with New York utilities and government agencies to establish the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation Center in Monroe County.

The $125 million facility will be used to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks and electrolyzers to power electric vehicles and to generate green hydrogen from renewable electricity.

The Empire State Development is providing Plug Power with $13 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for the project whilst the New York Power Authority is providing 5.1MW of low-cost clean energy capacity. Monroe County, Rochester Gas and Electric, and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with the project, according to a statement.

Plug Power claims its facility is the world’s first-ever Gigafactory for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology.

A total of 377 green jobs are expected to be created at the facility, a development that will help revitalise the New York economy as well as prepare the state’s workforce for next-generation energy business models.

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New York state governor Kathy Hochul, said the project: “moves both the state and the nation toward a more renewable future.

“The state-of-the-art Innovation Center will help to further establish New York State as a green energy leader.”

The launch of the facility falls under efforts by Plug Power to expand its presence in the green hydrogen market in New York following the company’s launch of a $290 million green hydrogen fuel production facility and electricity substation at the Western New York Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The development comes at a time hydrogen production and use continue to gain momentum to decarbonise hard to abate industries such as transport and chemicals and manufacturing. Although interest amongst energy stakeholders is increasing, the lack of hydrogen production, storage and transportation infrastructure is one key factor slowing down the market.

However, in mid-2021, the New York State government announced that is partnering with various organisations to address challenges hindering the market.

Partnerships with the New York Energy Research and Development Authority, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute, General Electric, Sargent & Lundy, Fresh Meadow Power, and hydrogen supplier Airgas will enable New York to assess the role of green hydrogen in its decarbonisation strategy.