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February 15, 2022 - 9:03pm

Schumer pushing to make NY leader in carbon-free energy production

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launched a major push to make New York State home to the nation’s first Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Law. In a direct letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Schumer explained how New York is already a national leader in hydrogen energy production and research, with North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility currently being constructed in Western New York by Plug Power. Schumer said that if selected for federal investment, the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub would mean thousands more clean energy jobs in New York and major federal investment to cement New York as a leader in the fight against climate change and the future of carbon-free energy production.

“From WNY, Rochester, and the Capital Region to Long Island, New York is leading the nation in hydrogen energy production sparking innovative research that is literally turning water into carbon-free power for electricity, fuel cells, and so much more. That is why I wrote to Energy Secretary Granholm directly to make it clear that New York has all the right ingredients to be the nation’s first-ever Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub and fuel America’s clean energy future,” said Senator Schumer.

Schumer added, “When I led the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to passage with an unprecedented $9.5 billion federal investment to expand the hydrogen industry, I had in mind innovative companies like Plug Power in Upstate New York and the potential to create thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs in communities that need it most. New York’s powerhouse workforce, top tier research institutions, and easy access to the renewable energy needed to produce green hydrogen make it uniquely suited to supercharge and lead the federal government’s efforts to secure the nation’s spot as a global leader in clean hydrogen production to power our fight against climate change.”

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided $8 billion for the Department of Energy to establish four or more Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs to demonstrate the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen. Today’s two Requests for Information from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy points to how important it is that New York quickly coordinate the most compelling proposal for a New York-centered Hydrogen Hub. In addition, the law also makes several new critical investments in hydrogen fuel and clean energy, including:

  • $1 Billion for a new Department of Energy Electrolyzer demonstration, commercialization and deployment program to improve the efficiency, increase the durability, and reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen using electrolyzers.
  • $500 million for a new Department of Energy clean hydrogen manufacturing recycling program to foster a clean hydrogen domestic supply chain in the U.S. 

Senator Schumer has been leading the charge to expand clean hydrogen production in New York. In 2020, Senator Schumer made a personal call to Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh pushing for the company to select Upstate New York for the site of its newest factory instead of a site in another state that was in contention.  In December 2020, Schumer announced that Plug Power had heeded his call and selected Monroe County as the site for its new ‘gigafactory,’ a hydrogen fuel cell component R&D and manufacturing plant, bringing $125 million and nearly 380 jobs to the Finger Lakes region. The new ‘gigafactory’ will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks and electrolyzers, which will be used to power a variety of electric vehicles and to generate power from renewable green hydrogen.

Schumer also called on the Department of Energy to support Plug Power’s newly proposed plan to construct a $290 million hydrogen facility at the Western NY STAMP site in Genesee county and personally visited the site in September. Plug Power’s new production facility at STAMP will produce green hydrogen to supply fuel-cell-powered equipment and vehicles such as freight transportation and logistics handling equipment.

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