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Plug Power

March 31, 2021 - 2:36pm

The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees’ decision Tuesday to allocate low-cost hydropower and funding to Plug Power’s expansion project at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park is another vital step in the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s efforts to promote the 1,250-acre mega site in the Town of Alabama.

That’s the way Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and chief executive officer, sees it after learning that the NYPA board approved a 10,000-kilowatt hydropower provision along with $1.5 million in funding from the Western New York Power Proceeds program.

Plug Power, based in Latham, will be investing $290 million on the construction of a green hydrogen fuel production plant and a 450-megawatt electric substation to serve the STAMP complex.

“Funding from the Western New York Power Proceeds program and the allocation of low cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project are critical components to Plug Power’s $290 million investment at the STAMP site,” Hyde said.

“The collaboration among NYPA, National Grid and Plug Power to build a 345-115kv electrical substation, which will allow access to 100-percent renewable and reliable low-cost power, will provide our agency a significant advantage in our marketing and promotional efforts on behalf of STAMP against other sites nationally and globally.”

Hyde said he was “extremely grateful” for NYPA’s support of the project, which reportedly will create 68 jobs and produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the NYPA board approved economic development awards to 23 entities that will support 2,292 jobs across the state — with 870 jobs being newly created — and spur more than $580 million in private capital investments.

Eighteen operations are receiving awards through ReCharge NY energy allocations, while the remaining five are receiving Niagara hydropower allocations and funding awards to enterprises in Western New York.

Included among the awards is a 5,100-kW power allocation to Plug Power for its expansion project in Monroe County that will create nearly 380 jobs.

March 26, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, wny stamp, Plug Power.

Press release:

Plug Power Inc.’s development of North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) received final approval from the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors at its March 25 meeting.

Plug Power Inc. plans to build the $232.7 million green energy technology facility at a 29.884-acre site at STAMP, with a proposed initial operation creating 68 new jobs at an average salary of approximately $70,000.

Plug Power Inc. also will invest $55 million to help build a 345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid. The substation will support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP’s 1,250-acre mega-site.

“The investments by Plug Power Inc. will advance our region’s expanding green hydrogen economy, create good jobs aligned with our county’s workforce training programs, and advance major infrastructure that is accessible to future projects,” said GCEDC President & CEO Steve Hyde.

“This project by Plug Power, along with the team effort by the GCEDC Board of Directors, the Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority, and National Grid, show our capacity to advance regionally significant projects at STAMP.”

Under the incentives application approved by the GCEDC Board, Plug Power Inc. will contribute approximately $2.3 million annually to support local municipalities and infrastructure development under a 20-year agreement.

In addition to Plug Power, the GCEDC Board also approved or accepted applications from five projects totaling another $420 million of capital investment in Genesee County.

The GCEDC Board approved final incentives for Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) for a $9.7 million community solar project on Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The project will generate 5MW of power and generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

The board also approved final incentives for Solar Liberty for community solar projects on Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke at a capital investment of $7.7 million. The projects will generate 4MW and 5MW of power and will generate approximately $856,024 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke, and the Akron Central School District over the proposed 15-year agreement.

Finally, the GCEDC Board of Directors accepted initial applications for two other projects:

  • Excelsior Energy LLC is proposing to invest $345.55 million in a utility-scale solar project on multiple properties in the Town of Byron. The project will generate 280 MW of power. Excelsior has negotiated a 20-year tax and community host agreements, including payments of $6,500 per MW, with a 2-percent annual escalator, to Genesee County, the Town of Byron, and the Byron-Bergen School District.
  • DePaul Special Needs Apartments LP is proposing to invest $3.75 million to expand by 20 living units an existing special needs housing campus in the City of Batavia. The project would increase annual PILOT payments by approximately $6,000 per year for the remainder of the facility’s existing PILOT schedule.

UPDATE: We asked Jim Krencik, marketing director for GCEDC, to clarify the tax abatements for these projects. He provided the following. The "Property Tax Payments" followed by tax savings is the PILOT on the project (payments in lieu of taxes). The sales tax exemption is an exemption on sales tax for materials used in construction.

Plug Power

  • Approved Property Tax Payments
    • $2.3 million / year
    • $46 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $117.7 million property tax savings / 20 years if assessed at cost of construction ($232.7 million)
  • Anticipated assessment is much more likely to be $60-90 million
    • ·        $2.3 million / year = 0 percent abatement on a $65 million assessment
  • $1.1 million sales tax exemptions

Excelsior Solar

  • Proposed Property Tax Payments
    • $1.8 million / year 1, increases by 2 percent annually
    • Based on $6,500 / megawatt
    • $44 million / 20 years
  • Estimated Savings
    • $21.4 million property tax savings / 20 years
    • On solar panels only, land with panels on them are assessed separately
    • $11.2 million sales tax exemption
March 5, 2021 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Plug Power, GCEDC, business, wny stamp.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors accepted an initial application for incentives from Plug Power Inc. for a proposed $232.7 million green energy technology facility at Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) at its March 4 board meeting.

The project, announced by Plug Power on Feb. 25, will produce green hydrogen using an electrolysis process of water utilizing renewable hydropower.

Under the terms of a proposed 20-year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement, Plug Power would pay approximately $2.3 million annually to support local municipalities and infrastructure, including Genesee County, the Town of Alabama, and the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District.

Plug Power will also invest $55 million for the construction of a 345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid to support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP.

“Plug Power’s vision at STAMP includes over $100 million of investments into our municipal partners and site infrastructure," said Steve Hyde, GCEDC president and CEO. "These investments further enhance the strengths of our 1,250-acre mega site.

"At STAMP, projects can access low-cost power that is 100-percent renewable and reliable, at a site that is located, zoned and built for projects to succeed within their timelines.”

Plug Power would initially create approximately 68 new jobs at an average starting salary of approximately $70,000 plus benefits, totaling over $95 million in wages over 20 years. For every $1 of public benefit requested, more than $4.3 of planned investment and spending is estimated for the project, and totaling approximately $500 million over 20 years.

A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposed incentives.

The GCEDC Board of Directors also approved a purchase and sale agreement with Plug Power Inc. covering approximately 29.884 acres at STAMP for the proposed project.

In other actions:

The GCEDC board approved $906,000 of incentives to support LandPro Equipment LLC’s planned $9.2 million project to acquire and develop a 14-acre parcel to build a 50,000-square-foot facility for a full-service regional John Deere facility. The planned facility would primarily be used for operations and training, with a portion of the facility used for retail. The project proposes to create five new jobs and retain approximately 60 jobs in Genesee County.

The GCEDC board also accepted an initial application from Forefront Power LLC (Elba Solar) for a proposed $9.7 million community solar project. The project would generate 5 MW of power and is projected to generate approximately $518,803 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Elba, and the Elba Central School District over a 15-year agreement.

The GCEDC board also accepted applications from Solar Liberty for two community solar projects with a capital investment of approximately $7.7 million in. The projects will generate 4 MW and 5 MW of power and are projected to generate approximately $856,024 in new revenue to Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke, and the Akron Central School District over a 15-year agreement.

Public hearings will be scheduled on the proposed incentives for each of the community solar projects.

March 1, 2021 - 12:48pm
posted by Press Release in Plug Power, GCEDC, news, wny stamp, Alabama.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider accepting an initial application for incentives for Plug Power’s proposed $232.7 million green energy technology facility at Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) at its March 4 board meeting.

The facility would produce green hydrogen through an electrolysis process of water utilizing clean hydropower. The production facility would produce approximately 45 metric tons of liquid hydrogen on a daily basis and sold to customers to replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector.

Construction is anticipated to begin this summer.

Plug Power would initially create approximately 68 new jobs at an average starting salary of approximately $70,000 plus benefits, totaling over $102 million over 20 years.

The company is requesting $118.2 million in sales and property tax exemptions from the GCEDC. For every $1 of public benefit requested, more than $4.3 of investment is proposed by the company or $520 million over 20 years.

Additionally, under the terms of a proposed 20-year PILOT agreement, Plug Power would pay approximately $2.3 million annually to support local municipalities and infrastructure, including Genesee County, the Town of Alabama, and the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District.

Plug Power will also invest $55 million for the construction of a  345/115KV electric substation in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid to support future expansion and growth opportunities at STAMP.

Plug Power and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the proposed project on Feb. 25, which is also being supported by the New York Power Authority and Empire State Development.

A public hearing on proposed incentives will be scheduled if the Board accepts the project application.

February 26, 2021 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Plug Power, news, GCEDC, wny stamp, notify, business.

The construction of a hydrogen fuel production facility at WNY Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park will have benefits for Genesee County that go far beyond the 68 jobs expected to go along with the $290 million project, said Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, in an interview this afternoon.

Besides positioning STAMP to potentially be a big part of New York's green energy future, Plug Power has agreed to invest more than $55 million in a 450-megawatt electrical substation that other potential STAMP manufacturers can tap into.

"This is a big, huge investment," Hyde said. "This will more than double our investment into infrastructure in STAMP."

While some infrastructure is already in place much of the infrastructure construction for STAMP has been on hold until an advanced manufacturer agreed to locate a plant in the 1,250-acre mega site. Now the business development team at GCEDC will be able to tell site selectors that critical infrastructure, such as the substation, will be in place by a time-specific date.  That may help some site selectors who have been kicking the tires of STAMP -- including, according to news reports, Samsung -- make a final decision about their construction plans.

STAMP has been Hyde's dream project for more than a decade and throughout all these years he has cheerfully repeated, "economic development is a marathon and not a sprint." He used the phrase again today.

And he's not across the finish line yet. There is still a purchase agreement to complete and get approved by the GCEDC board with Power Plug as well as ironing out the final figures on an incentive package to help bring down development costs for the company. Typically these include a PILOT (payments made in lieu of taxes), and tax abatements on construction materials.

New York has already committed to providing $2 million in tax credits for job-creation its Excelsior program. These are incentives the company will not receive unless they meet job creation targets.

Plug Power will tap into clean hydroelectronic power from Niagara Falls to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen will be liquified, stored in tanks, and transported to Henrietta where Power Plug is building a hydrogen fuel cell factory. 

Many of those fuel cells will be used in forklifts and other warehouse equipment used by companies like Walmart and Amazon, giving those companies a cost-effective and 100-percent carbon-free source of energy for a key part of its operations.

Hydrogen fuel cells will also be available for long-haul trucking as well as other applications.

"We're going to be part of a 100-percent green, renewable energy ecosystem," Hyde said.

He said that will help make STAMP attractive to other companies participating in New York's push to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. 

That viewpoint mirrors the opportunity for STAMP to become an innovative hub for green energy with 1366 Technologies, which manufactures state-of-the-art solar wafer chips, announcing its intention to build a plant in STAMP in 2015. That proposal fell apart after years of delays because the Department of Energy would not sign off on a previously promised loan guarantee. Then Rep. Chris Collins apparently did nothing during that time to help push the project along with the DOE.

The DOE will not be as heavily involved in this project and Rep. Chris Jacobs seems to have no reservations about supporting the project. He issued this statement this evening:

“Landing Plug Power is an incredible win for Genesee County and the entire region. Thanks to the great work of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, the STAMP site is attracting high-tech, innovative businesses to bolster our region and provide high-paying jobs to Western New York. This is only the beginning, and I’ll do whatever I can to help bring more opportunities to our area.”

The Plug Power plant is expected to produce 45 tons of hydrogen fuel on a daily basis. 

The New York Power Authority is supporting the project with: 

  • 10 MW 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.

Power Plug is investing another $125 million in a facility in Henrietta to create fuel cells. The project is expected to create another 377 jobs for the region.

In a statement released yesterday, Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said, "Plug Power's future rightfully revolves around building the green hydrogen economy. 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."

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February 25, 2021 - 6:23pm

Press release from Gov. Cuomo:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that leading alternative energy technology provider Plug Power will invest $290 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park located in the Town of Alabama, Genesee County.

The Plug Power project is the first build at the STAMP site and will require that the company fund the construction of a 450-megawatt electric substation to support its expansion as well as future growth opportunities at the business park. Plug Power has additionally committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily.

The firm's commitment to develop its new 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," Governor Cuomo said. "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."

"Not only does today's announcement mean more advanced manufacturing jobs in Genesee County, but we are also investing in a cleaner, greener future for New York State," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Through the support of New York State, Plug Power, a leading alternative energy technology provider, will develop a new green hydrogen fuel production facility. We are proud to partner with companies like Plug Power that are building on our efforts to keep our state ahead of the curve and create a green economy." 

The state incentives directly support the Governor's ambitious Green Energy program—the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation—which will spur more than $29 billion in public and private investment across the state and create 12,400 megawatts of green energy, enough to power six million homes. The investments will not only help shift the state toward a carbon neutral economy, fulfilling the goals of New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, but also spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NYPA's incentives, which are subject to approval by the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees next month, will mark the first NYPA customer approved for economic development incentives under the Power Authority's 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 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 various approvals by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Plug Power's forward-thinking innovation and ongoing commitment to New York State are helping to advance Governor Cuomo's clean energy vision. This hydrogen fuel manufacturing facility at the STAMP mega-site will strengthen New York's green economy by creating top quality, high-tech manufacturing jobs." 

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, "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. 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 focused 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. The company also operates a facility in Rochester's Eastman Business Park and maintains its headquarters in the Capital Region. 

Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said, "Plug Power's future rightfully revolves around building the green hydrogen economy. 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 including Senator Schumer, Governor Cuomo, and many from Empire State Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center, and others." 

STAMP is a 1,250-acre mega 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 has completed all site-level design and engineering, and all-site level environmental and zoning approvals to house projects including semiconductor manufacturing, renewables manufacturing, biopharma manufacturing, and other high-capacity industries.

The mega site is strategically located in NYPA's low-cost hydropower zone and will be serviced by high-capacity, 100-percent renewable, reliable power sources. STAMP has been validated as a regional priority project by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and has been supported by local, regional, and state governments, as well as business, university, and utility partners. 

Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said, "Efforts by New York State to invest in a mega-site such as STAMP in collaboration with Genesee County, the Town of Alabama, and the New York Power Authority, have resulted in a significant interest among advanced manufacturing companies across the globe at STAMP and Genesee County.

"The economic benefits of this proposed development at STAMP also underscores how this project contributes to New York State's leading role in mitigating climate change, as Plug Power is an international leader in manufacturing clean hydrogen which can significantly reduce air emissions and in the process create good-paying jobs for our community and region."

Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of NYPA's Niagara Power 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.

Alabama Town Supervisor Robert Crossen said, "I am encouraged by the interest that various advanced manufacturing companies, including Plug Power have in the Town of Alabama and STAMP. We have worked very hard to bring forward a site suitable for a project of this scale, and we look forward to achieving the important steps to develop and advance this project in our community."

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, "Plug Power plans to establish a hydrogen generation facility at the STAMP mega-site in Genesee County because of its unique infrastructure, including low-cost, clean hydropower. The power generated at this new facility will also support Plug Power's Giga factory in Rochester."

Bob Duffy, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Committee Co-Chair, said, “We are thrilled that Plug Power has chosen the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) site for their hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has been proud to support STAMP as a regional priority, and we commend Steve Hyde from the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Genesee County leadership for their work in positioning the site as a viable location for largescale projects. Greater Rochester Chamber looks forward to continuing to work with CEO Andy Marsh and the Plug Power team to ensure their ongoing success and growth in the Finger Lakes Region and beyond.

From the Plug Power website:

Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions. The Company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while meeting sustainability goals.

Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. As a result, the Company has deployed over 40,000 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.

Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs. Plug Power’s vertically-integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart.

The Company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers. Learn more at www.plugpower.com.

February 3, 2021 - 6:26pm

Last week it was Samsung. Now, it’s Plug Power.

According to a story in today’s edition of The Buffalo News, the Albany-based Plug Power has disclosed plans to erect five “green hydrogen” plants in the United States, including a $264 million facility at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama.

The plant, which would produce green hydrogen for freight and materials handling equipment, is expected to be in operation by 2024, per the published report.

Previously, it was reported on The Batavian that Samsung is considering the placement of a $17 billion semiconductor plan at STAMP, a venture of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

GCEDC President/CEO Steve Hyde, responding to an inquiry from The Batavian, issued the following statement, without specifically mentioning Plug Power:

“The Genesee County Economic Development Center recently reached out to our various public sector partners, including the Genesee County Legislature, the Town of Alabama among other local and state partners requesting that the GCEDC take on the role as lead agency for an environmental review of a potential project at STAMP.

“As a result, the GCEDC has completed extensive site readiness for the 1,250-acre STAMP site, including all site-level environmental, archeological, wetland delineation, and zoning requirements. This enables site selectors and prospective tenants to conduct effective due diligence as they evaluate projects at STAMP.

“We are very excited about this significant economic development opportunity for our community and look forward to working with our public sector partners during the due diligence by Project Gateway, as we have on dozens of other economic development projects in Genesee County over the last several years.”

Currently, there are no tenants at the 1,250-acre business park, although county officials have indicated that many companies are looking at the site.

Other highlights of The Buffalo News story:

  • Plug Power would begin construction this March, with an expected completion in December 2022, creating 62 full-time jobs with an average salary of $75,000 plus benefits;
  • An award of $1.5 million to support the venture has been recommended by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board;
  • In its application, Plug Power said it uses a process called electrolysis … leading to “zero-emission freight transport and logistics handling equipment utilizing fuel-cells and clean energy manufactured in New York.” The company said it will be the first of its kind in the Northeast, and would lead to other businesses moving to STAMP.
  • Plug Power will request $2 million from Empire State Development, and a package of sales and property tax abatements through the GCEDC.
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