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WNY STAMP

February 3, 2023 - 3:50pm
posted by Press Release in WNY STAMP, Edwards Vacuum, GCEDC, Business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board approved financial agreements to support Edwards Vacuum, part of the Atlas Copco Group, for the first phase of the company’s $209 million semiconductor dry pump manufacturing facility at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the town of Alabama, NY at its February 2, 2023 meeting. 

Edwards Vacuum’s “factory of the future” will serve the semiconductor industry and advanced manufacturing sectors and create approximately 343 new high-paying jobs. The facility is projected to generate more than $13.4 million in future revenues to the Town of Alabama, Genesee County, Oakfield-Alabama School District, and the Alabama Fire Department over 20 years.

Atlas Copco USA Holdings Inc. & Subsidiaries (Edwards Vacuum) has requested sales tax exemptions of approximately $4.34 million and a 20-year property tax abatement of approximately $12.85 million. The project is estimated to generate $644 million in payroll and projected future municipal revenues, and a $39 benefit to the local economy for every $1 of public investment.

November 3, 2022 - 11:08pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, C - Batavia) today praised the recent announcement that Edwards Vacuum, a British-based world leader in vacuum and abatement equipment in the semiconductor industry and part of the Atlas Copco Group, has chosen the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP)  in 139th A.D. as the location for its new $319 million, U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility. The specific technology that will be produced at the new facility is an integral part of the sensitive manufacturing process.

This highly-protected technology and process will make the new facility one of a few globally that will have the ability to produce this product. Hawley noted that this serious investment will attract some of the best minds and leaders in the semiconductor field across the world to relocate and grow in Western New York.

“New York continues to be a serious global player in the semiconductor world, and for our community to be home to this future facility reinforces the meaningful commitment we all have to bring jobs to our area and grow our economy,” said Hawley. “The trickle-down positive impact this will have on the district, for economic growth, our schools and future success, cannot be underscored. Creating 600 jobs is significant and I could not be prouder to have those jobs located in our region.”

With the recent global supply chain issues that have caused shortages in product and increases in prices for everything from cars to cell phones, Hawley believes this will better position New Yorkers and Americans across the country to economically benefit from this investment.

“This is welcome news not only for the significant local economic impact, but this will help everyday New Yorkers and Americans to better afford the wide array of consumer goods tied to the semiconductor technology. It’s an extremely exciting day for our region and I look forward to future growth,” concluded Hawley.

November 2, 2022 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY STAMP, Edwards Vacuum, news, GCEDC, notify.

stamp_sign_001.jpg

The commitment is in place but there is still a lot of work to be done before construction can begin on the new manufacturing facility Edwards Vacuum plans to build at WNY STAMP.

Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, said the proposed project, once built out, with 600 jobs, will be the largest new manufacturing plant in Genesee County history.

"That's about a 20 percent increase in our manufacturing employment," Hyde said.

But before the first person can be hired, there are permits to be obtained, an environmental review process to complete, site plans to review, and an incentive package with GCEDC to negotiate.

The permitting process will make the coming months a bit busier for officials in the Town of Alabama.

Typically, job-creation projects receive three primary tax breaks. The first is a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes. The PILOT forgives a portion of property taxes (the portion derived from an increase in assessed value) in exchange for payments to local governments.  The second is a sales tax abatement on construction materials. And the third is a mortgage tax abatement. 

GCEDC has yet to reach an agreement with Edwards on those incentives, which will require a public hearing and board approval once the details are worked out.

"All of that comes down to a fundamental thing -- is it a competitive world or not?" Hyde said. "And it's a very competitive world, especially for projects in the semiconductor industry. So you know, those are all important pieces that are negotiated."

Edwards doesn't hold all the cards in any negotiation, however.  In prior interviews, both Hyde and Sen. Charles Schumer pointed out that STAMP is located along a growing semiconductor corridor between Fishkill and Ohio, and the Micron Technologies plant announced last month for the Syracuse area is a significant large potential customer for Edwards.  And a source in Gov. Kathy Hochul's office pointed out in an email today Wolfspeed and Global Foundries, among others along the I-90 corridor, are existing or potential customers for Edwards.

STAMP also benefits from a renewable energy source, Niagara Falls.

Edwards Vacuum also stands to benefit from $20 million in incentives from the State of New York.  Most of that money comes in the form of Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits.  The company only receives the tax credits if they make the qualifying hires.

There is also a workforce development grant that Edwards can earn as it builds out its staff.

The increase in new plant development across the nation is being driven largely by the CHIPS and Science Act, a bill authored by Schumer, that provides $59 billion in grants along with tax credits for companies building out the nation's capacity for producing computer chips.

Edwards is moving forward with its plans even though the company cannot yet apply for CHIPS assistance.

"(Edwards) has plans to put in their own version of a CHIPS application," Hyde said. "But no one has an official commitment yet because the window isn't even open to put the applications in. The Department of Commerce says, I think, it's February when they'll start taking applications. And I know these guys plan on putting in a very thoughtful application as well."

If all goes to plan -- and Hyde said the GCEDC staff is committed to getting through the process smoothly -- contractors for Edwards could put the first shovel into the ground in the spring.

Edwards has committed to an 80-acre parcel in the northeast quadrant of STAMP, all east of Crosby Road.

One additional job for GCEDC is building out the infrastructure, such as sewer and water, for the site.  Hyde said GCEDC will apply for a new state grant program to help pay for building infrastructure.

Edwards is planning to invest $319 million to build a manufacturing plant in two phases. The first phase will be 255,000 square feet, with 240,000 square feet dedicated to manufacturing. The remaining floor space will be used for a warehouse and administration.  The second phase will be 130,000 square feet.  

The company hopes to complete the first phase by the fourth quarter of 2024 and in that first phase, will employ from 300 to 350 people.  The second phase will round out the anticipated 600 new hires sometime in 2026.

"They're not letting any grass grow under their feet on this project," Hyde said.

Photo: File photo.

November 2, 2022 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Charles Schumer, WNY STAMP, notify, Edwards Vacuum, GCEDC.

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This morning's announcement that Edwards Vacuum is going to build a $319 million dry-pump manufacturing facility at WNY STAMP is a good indication, said Sen. Charles Schumer, that there are more high-tech companies who will choose to locate new plants at the park.

"We had a good chance before landing Edwards and now those chances are even better," Schumer told The Batavian during an exclusive interview.

Edwards is a major player in the semiconductor industry, Schumer said, and the decision by the company's CEO, Geert Follens, helps validate STAMP as a viable option for other companies in the semiconductor supply chain as well as a semiconductor fabricator.

The British-based company makes the vacuums that help keep chip manufacturing clean rooms clean.

"Once you land a serious company like this, other semiconductor companies are going to take notice," Schumer said.

Schumer is the author of the CHIPs and Science Act, which provides $52 billion in manufacturing grants and establishes a 25 percent investment tax credit for increasing semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. 

That bill, Schumer said, was a significant factor in the decision by Micron Technologies to build a major chip manufacturing plant near Syracuse and Micron's selection of New York helped STAMP beat out a competing site in another nearby state for the Edwards facility, Schumer said. 

Phase One of Edwards Vacuum’s 240,000 square-foot campus includes manufacturing, warehouse and administration.  The company is expected to employ 600 people and the state and federal financial incentives tied to the deal require Edwards to meet that employment goal.

Edwards will also negotiate a PILOT agreement (a reduction in property taxes on the increased value of the property in exchange for payments to local governments), along with sales tax, and mortgage tax abatements with GCEDC.

In an interview with The Batavian yesterday, GCEDC Steve Hyde said there was a major announcement coming soon (which came a lot sooner than he suggested) about STAMP, and he also said there are about 20 companies with some interest in STAMP and another five or six with serious interest.

Schumer agreed with that assessment.

"There is a lot of interest in STAMP," said Schumer, a big baseball fan. "We have to land them but we're on third base and getting ready to score."

File photo of Sen. Charles Schumer at WNY STAMP in August 2020 calling for passage of the CHIPS Act. Photo by Howard Owens.

November 2, 2022 - 10:02am
posted by Press Release in WNY STAMP, GCEDC, Edwards Vacuum, Charles Schumer, notify.

Press release:

Governor Hochul and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer today announced that Edwards Vacuum, a British-based world leader in vacuum and abatement equipment in the semiconductor industry and part of the Atlas Copco Group, has chosen the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), located in Genesee County, as the location for their new $319 million, U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility. The dry pump technology that will be produced at the new facility is a vital component to controlling the highly sensitive environment of semiconductor manufacturing processes. Phase One of Edwards Vacuum’s 240,000 square-foot campus include manufacturing, warehouse and administration. This new commitment from a global leader in the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain to invest in New York State builds on the announcement that Micron is investing an unprecedented $100 billion in Central New York.   

“This major investment from Edwards Vacuum builds on our momentum to secure New York as a leader in semiconductor manufacturing,” Governor Hochul said. “On the heels of Micron’s $100 billion commitment to Central New York, as well as New York’s Green CHIPS legislation and the federal CHIPS and Science Act, we are better positioned than ever to make New York a global hub for advanced manufacturing and attract the jobs of the future. I am thrilled to welcome Edwards Vacuum to Genesee County and look forward to working with them, as well as our local, state, and federal partners, as they make New York their home.”

The CHIPS And Science Act delivers for Upstate New York again,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.  “I am thrilled to announce Edwards Vacuum, a major player in semiconductor supply chain, will soon power Genesee County with an over $300 million plant and 600 good-paying jobs!  From Micron’s major investment in Central NY and Wolfspeed’s new fab in Marcy, to onsemi soon beginning in the Hudson Valley and GlobalFoundries building a new fab in the Capital Region, and now Edward’s supercharging our semiconductor supply chain at Western New York’s STAMP site, Upstate is becoming the global hub for the chip industry. I told Edwards Vacuum’s top brass last month there was no better site than STAMP to locate a new plant and I’m glad they heeded my call.  With my CHIPS and Science Act as the lighting rod, we are now seeing energy flow into Upstate’s manufacturing sector like never before, and this investment will further cement that the future of microchips will be built with American-made products, crafted by New York workers.”

Kate Wilson, President of Edwards’ Semiconductor business, said, “I am delighted that we are announcing this new facility in the state of New York. Against a backdrop of growing demand, clearly showing a greater need for investment in manufacturing capabilities that are located close to our customers, we continue to commit significant investment in our operational footprint. This is critical to ensure we retain our position as the vacuum and abatement partner of choice to the global semiconductor industry.”  

Edwards Vacuum will provide internal training and education, allowing every employee to explore and advance their career opportunities. Additionally, Edwards is committed to recruiting entry-level employees from disadvantaged communities and partnering with existing community-based recruitment and training programs, to provide both soft skills and technical skills that will provide employment opportunities that have not been available in those communities previously. 

STAMP is a 1,250-acre mega site at the forefront of green manufacturing growth in New York. Developed to provide high-capacity, low-cost renewable electricity in a strategic location in the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor, STAMP has attracted over $500 million of investment  by innovative companies. With over 500 available buildable acres on-site, 1.1 million people within 30 miles, and 30,000 annually enrolled engineering students at nearby colleges and universities, STAMP is positioned to accelerate New York’s growing semiconductor manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and renewables manufacturing industries. 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Attracting supply chain partners in the semiconductor industry is key building a stronger ecosystem in New York State. Edwards Vacuum’s choice of STAMP for its new facility further cements New York State as a leader in the semiconductor industry.” 

New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Edwards Vacuum’s STAMP investment is a testament to New York’s emergence as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing. Securing reliable supply chain partners is critical to the semiconductor industry, and projects like this showcase the unique attributes of New York that will help the industry grow here.” 

As part of the agreement with Edwards Vacuum, ESD has offered up to $21 million in a combination of performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits, Investment Tax Credits and an additional $1 million to support Workforce Development and the training of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce in exchange for 600 new full-time jobs at the location  Additionally, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees will review an application for low-cost Niagara hydropower at a future public meeting. 

Edwards Vacuum is anticipated to apply for agreements at a later date with the Genesee County Economic Development Center to support the company's investment at STAMP through property, sales, and mortgage tax assistance. The request would support the largest workforce and capital investment proposed by any company at a GCEDC-developed site. 

Last month, Senator Schumer personally called Edwards Vacuum President, Geert Follens, to urge the global semiconductor supply chain company to expand in Upstate New York. Senator Schumer's bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, creates an Investment Tax Credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and supply chain partners such as Edwards Vacuum as well as a first of its kind $52 billion in federal incentives to spur American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce training to bring good-paying jobs back from overseas, strengthen national security, and reestablish America's technological leadership. The bill requires recipients of these incentives to make significant worker and community investments that support equitable economic growth. Edwards Vacuum is expected to also apply for incentives under the CHIPS and Science Act.  Schumer has long supported STAMP’s development and to attract new semiconductor and advanced manufacturing companies to locate at STAMP.  Schumer said these new federal and state investments are creating a new ‘Erie Canal’ across upstate New York by attracting thousands of new jobs in the semiconductor industry from the Hudson Valley to Western New York’s STAMP. 

Semiconductors, and their supply chain partners, are vital to the nation's economic strength, serving as the brains of modern electronics, and enabling technologies critical to U.S. economic growth, national security, and global competitiveness. The industry directly employs over 277,000 people in the U.S. and supports more than 1.8 million additional domestic jobs. Semiconductors are a top five U.S. export, and the industry is the number one contributor to labor productivity, supporting improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of virtually every economic sector — from farming to manufacturing. Earlier this year, Governor Hochul signed New York's nation-leading Green CHIPS legislation into law to attract top semiconductor manufacturing businesses to the state and secure commitments to good-paying jobs, sustainability, and community benefits.

Supply chain issues and a decline in the United States' share of global chip production are causing undue hardships to every aspect of the economy. This erosion of U.S. chip production capacity puts the nation at a strategic disadvantage in several critical areas, including national security, technological innovation, and economic growth and independence. Because more than 300 industries use chips — from cars to cellphones — their scarcity drives up prices of other consumer goods. Edwards Vacuum’s new facility will position New York State as a national leader in reshoring vital semiconductor jobs to the U.S. 

Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein said, “We are so proud that STAMP will be the location of the largest economic development investment in the history of Genesee County. On behalf of my colleagues in the Genesee County Legislature we welcome Edwards Vacuum to our community and look forward to their success here and the career opportunities they will provide for our hard-working residents. This announcement demonstrates the diligent focus of Genesee County to plan, prepare and welcome 21st-century manufacturing to our county.” 

Town of Alabama Supervisor Rob Crossen said,  “Our shared vision through the development of STAMP is to play a role in bringing new jobs and investments to Genesee County and to improve the quality of life for our residents. The latter has begun through enhanced infrastructure improvements, especially as it pertains to water services, and we’re pleased that STAMP and our community is attracting advanced manufacturing companies and good paying jobs.” 

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, "We congratulate Edwards Vacuum on this incredible project, and welcome them to the state-of-the-art Western NY Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park in Genesee County. These top-quality jobs will help to energize the regional economy, furthering its reputation as the center of technology and progress.

Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center President & CEO, said, “There is a saying that economic development is a marathon and not a sprint and that has been our approach to STAMP ever since it was a concept on paper over a decade ago. That’s why it is so gratifying to see how that steady and purposeful approach is resulting in a significant return on the investment that has been made through the years by our public and private sector partners and in particular by Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul by this announcement today. This announcement shows that STAMP and our region are the ideal location for semiconductor industry growth.” 

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “Edwards Vacuum, an innovative vacuum equipment manufacturer that serves the semiconductor industry, is expanding at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Greater Rochester, NY region to capitalize on this mega site’s unique infrastructure, which includes reliable, low-cost hydropower and unlimited water supply. Rochester, NY is also attractive because of the concentration of highly skilled talent with mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and regional workforce development partners who offer stackable credential programs and certificate programs to train Edward Vacuum’s future workforce. GRE connected Edwards Vacuum to numerous economic development resources to support this expansion in Rochester and will continue to support the company as this project unfolds.” 

This major investment adds to New York's already robust semiconductor industry. In addition to Micron’s major $100 billion investment in Central New York, New York has multiple global industry chip leaders like GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, onsemi, and IBM. New York is also home to the world-renowned Albany Nanotech Complex, which is a multibillion-dollar public-private partnership, comprising the most advanced, publicly owned, 300-millimeter semiconductor research and development facility and bringing together premier universities and leading industry players to drive cutting-edge chip development. Because of the tireless advocacy of Governor Hochul and Senator Schumer, semiconductor supply chain companies like Edwards are also growing as well. Earlier this year Corning Incorporated invested $139 million, creating over 270 new jobs in Monroe County to meet the demands of the growing semiconductor market.

About Edwards Vacuum  
Edwards is the leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products, exhaust management systems and related value-added services. These are integral to manufacturing processes for semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells; are used within an increasingly diverse range of industrial processes including power, glass and other coating applications, steel and other metallurgy, pharmaceutical and chemical; and for both scientific instruments and a wide range of R&D applications. 

Edwards has more than 8,000 employees worldwide engaged in the design, manufacture and support of high technology vacuum and exhaust management equipment and has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and North America. 

Edwards is part of the Atlas Copco Group (NASDAQ OMX Stockholm: ATCO A, ATCO B), a Sweden-based provider of industrial productivity solutions. 

Further information about Edwards can be found at www.edwardsvacuum.com 

November 2, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY STAMP, GCEDC, Steve Hyde, news, notify.

With a bit of luck or an answered prayer, there could be an announcement about a new tenant at STAMP in Alabama within the next 30 days, said Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, in an exclusive interview with The Batavian on Monday.

"You know what, we're praying hard that the next one connects, and we've had some real big strides of late, so I'm hoping there'll be something to talk about inside of 30 days," Hyde said.

The suggestion that a deal with some sort of hi-tech firm to build a plant at the WNY Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park came at the end of an interview where Hyde discussed the interest the park is drawing from semi-conductor companies, the supply chain for those companies, and renewable energy companies.

"Things are moving, the site's market-relevant now," Hyde said. "We're seeing a lot of interest."

The biggest game changer for marketing STAMP, Hyde said, is the CHIPS and Science Act.

The legislation, authored by Sen. Charles Schumer, is intended to increase the production of semiconductors -- computer chips -- in the United States and reduce the reliance in the U.S. on Chinese semiconductors.  It's seen by supporters as a national security issue.

The act provides $52 billion in manufacturing grants and establishes a 25 percent investment tax credit for increasing semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. 

"It is critical, in my view, having lived in this industry for a decade or more, that we really need to do all we can to bring it back," Hyde said. "I applaud Sen. Schumer and a lot of our leaders. That was a bipartisan effort around CHIPS to really make this happen and now we're seeing deals from it."

One of the biggest deals so far, announced last month, is the decision by Micron Technologies to invest $100 billion to build a new plant on 1,300 acres near Syracuse

Far from losing out on that deal, the staff at GCEDC has been busy negotiating with a bevy of companies -- as many as 20 -- about space availability at Genesee County's own 1,200-acre advanced technology campus.  Hyde said there are at least five companies, and perhaps seven, that have at least a 70 percent chance of signing a deal for a facility at STAMP.

"There's a real active sales funnel at STAMP, actually," Hyde said. "It's deeper and wider than I've seen, ever."

Combined, the companies kicking tires represent $40 billion in investments and about 20,000 jobs.

Of course, they won't all fit on the campus, and depending on who eventually signs, we could see anywhere from three to six companies with facilities in the park.

The competitive landscape has shifted since STAMP was first conceived, Hyde said.  He's no longer expecting one major semiconductor company to come in and swoop up all that remains of the STAMP campus.  The project was conceived during a time when semiconductor companies only wanted to locate two or three fabrication operations in a single location, preferring to spread out manufacturing nationally, if not globally.

But as China has grown more competitive, and with the incentives of the CHIPS Act, the major firms are looking for locations that can support six to eight fabrication plants, Hyde said.  STAMP isn't designed to provide the infrastructure necessary to support that size of an operation.

He congratulated the leaders in Onondaga County for being able to put together a plan that will meet Micron's needs.

Ultimately, Micron's presence in Central New York will benefit Genesee County, he said.  It helps create a corridor of semiconductor companies and supply chain companies from Fishkill to Columbus, Ohio, including projects in Utica and Albany, with STAMP just off the I-90 that helps tie it all together.

"Honestly, a lot of these supply chain and semiconductor players like to be nearby for transportation logistics, but they don't necessarily want to be right in the back yard of another firm because of workforce (availability)."

A smaller semiconductor manufacturer might take an interest in STAMP, but Hyde suggested it's more likely that supply chain companies will move in the firms that supply semiconductor manufacturers with their tools and technological support.

"It could become a hub for semiconductor players that maybe don't take the whole campus, but fit in nicely, and it almost becomes like a hub for the semiconductor industry," Hyde said. "We've got some real interest in that, in that space right now." 

There remains high interest among green energy companies because of the renewable power source available at STAMP (Niagara Falls). It helps that Plug Power is already building what will be the nation's largest green hydrogen plant, Hyde said.

There's also a developer from Indiana who is interested in acquiring the southern portion of the STAMP site, and that developer would do some advance builds in order to attract prospective clients.

"They've got a marquee list of vendors," Hyde said.

Hyde is never one to give too much away about the deals the team at GCEDC is working on, but he didn't hide his optimism that good things are coming soon for STAMP.

"It's pretty cool that a dozen years ago, when we really kind of defined the hope and strategy and vision for the site, that those sectors that were the focus then are the hot ones now, with federal incentives really helping drive that interest level like never before," Hyde said.

Photo: File photo of Steve Hyde from 2015 by Howard Owens.

August 11, 2022 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in WNY STAMP, Charles Schumer, news, notify.
Video Sponsor

The pandemic exposed a weakness in the U.S. economy, Sen. Charles Schumer said today while at a car dealership in Genesee County -- not enough computer chips are manufactured in the U.S., leading to a shortage in the semiconductors that help cars, along with phones, computers, and appliances, run.

Currently, only 12 percent of chips are manufactured domestically, according to Schumer, compared to 37 percent in the 1990s.

Many foreign competitors, including China, are investing heavily to dominate the industry, Schumer said. Nearly 75 percent of global semiconductor production is now occurring in East Asia, and foreign government subsidies drive the majority of the cost difference for producing semiconductors overseas and in the U.S.

In response, Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, introduced the CHIPS and Science Act, which with the president's signature this past week, is now law.

It provides over $50 billion in federal incentives to get more chips made in the U.S.

"We say (in the bill), not only do they have to make the chips here, but they can't make any more of them in China," Schumer said. "That is very, very good for America. We're saying we want to build the future in Batavia, not Beijing, in Syracuse, not Shanghai. So I wrote this legislation with upstate in mind."

Schumer is bullish on WNY STAMP, the 1,250-acre technology park that is now shovel-ready in the Town of Alabama.  He believes that before long, there will be a semiconductor plant at the park.

"Companies are seeing upstate New York is the place to be," Schumer said. "We hope there'll be many more. And we're fighting very hard to get one at STAMP. It is seen as a great opportunity at some of the chip companies -- I'm not allowed to say who -- but they have already visited here a couple of times. The bottom line is that manufacturing chips here in New York has the potential to be our 21st century Erie Canal."

He promised to do everything he can to attract chip manufacturers to upstate New York.

"We have more shovel-ready sites, including the STAMP facility right here in Genesee County than any place in the country," he said. "I'm gonna use my clout as majority leader in making (upstate New York) the center of the country with $5 billion of federal money for all of our semiconductor advanced research and development, which attracts people here. We have a great workforce here. We have great universities here. We have cheap water and cheap electric power, which these chip plants need as well, so you put that all together, and we are ideally suited now that this bill passed."

From a press release, highlights of the legislation:

Specifically, Schumer highlighted that the bill includes:

  • $39 billion for the CHIPS for America Fund to provide federal incentives to build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or research and development to help attract major chip manufacturers to shovel-ready sites like STAMP in Genesee County.  
  • $11 billion for Department of Commerce research and development including creating a National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) a public-private partnership to conduct advanced semiconductor manufacturing, with Albany Nanotech primed to be a top contender to serve as a major hub for the NSTC, and other specialized R&D programs that universities across the state are in a strong position to compete for.
  • $2 billion for the DoD CHIPS for America Defense Fund.
  • $200 million for the CHIPS for America Workforce and Education Fund to kick start the development of the domestic semiconductor workforce, which faces near-term labor shortages, by leveraging activities of the National Science Foundation.
  • A new Investment Tax Credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and equipment.

Schumer explained that New York is uniquely suited to take advantage of these federal investments to reassert America’s global technological leadership. New York is currently home to over 80 semiconductor companies that employ over 34,000 NY workers, including global industry leaders like GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, onsemi, IBM, and other major microchip and innovation companies that support them like Corning Inc. in Monroe County which just announced a $139M, 270 job expansion in anticipation of this bill. Schumer said investments like these are only the beginning though, and now that his bill has finally become law, the ripple effects from more chip fabs and their supply chains being built in places like Upstate New York will give companies like Baxter and the American economy the stability it needs to avoid shocks like this again in the future. 

July 28, 2022 - 5:35pm
posted by Press Release in WNY STAMP, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, GCEDC.

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Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 4346 – CHIPS-Plus. This legislation passed the House of Representatives in a 243-187 vote and passed the Senate earlier this week 64-33.

“The COVID pandemic highlighted our overdependence on China, especially in terms of semiconductor chips which are now critical components in nearly every product and machine impacting our daily lives. China holds a major share of this market, and should they ever take over Taiwan - which is another major producer of semiconductors - our nation’s supply would be in jeopardy,” Jacobs said. “We need to urgently ‘re-shore’ chip manufacturing and bolster domestic production, this legislation will make that possible.”

“CHIPS-Plus also presents an opportunity for our region. The City of Buffalo has an opportunity to land one of the twenty tech hubs established in the bill and Genesee County has a great potential to land a semiconductor manufacturer. This could mean numerous high paying jobs and a transformational leap for our regional economy,” Jacobs said.

“This legislation is a bipartisan achievement for our economy and our nation’s security – I am proud to have voted for it, and look forward to it being signed into law,” said Jacobs.

Previously: Genesee County will benefit from $50 billion CHIPS and Science bill passed by Senate, Schumer says

Photo Courtesy GCEDC: Aerial view of Plug Power plant under construction at WNY STAMP

July 27, 2022 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Charles Schumer, advanced manufacturing, WNY STAMP, news, notify.

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Every part of Upstate New York, including Genesee County, will benefit from his bill to spur development in computer chip and technology manufacturing, Sen. Charles Schumer said today during an online press conference with reporters from throughout New York.

Upstate has more shovel-ready business park sites than any other region in the nation, and WNY-STAMP is among those sites drawing interest from semiconductor manufacturers with the likely passage of this bill, Schumer said.

"There are a whole number of companies that were thinking of going overseas to Europe or to Asia, that with this bill have now said they're going to locate in the United States," Schumer said in response to a question from The Batavian. "We have some of the great sites including the STAMP site in Batavia and we're going to do everything we can to lure them. And remember, they depend on the Commerce Department to get some grants for this. These are large grants, and I am going to, as Majority Leader, I think, I'll have some say with the Commerce Department."

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 creates $50 billion in funding designed to provide financial assistance to chip manufacturers and other technology companies to build factories in the United States.

The bill passed the Senate today and Schumer, who authored the bill and has doggedly pursued it for a long time, said it will easily pass in the House of Representatives.

Schumer pushed for passage, he said, because the U.S. must beat China in chip manufacturing and because he believes spurring innovative growth in high-tech will benefit all of New York, especially Upstate New York.

"I wrote this bill with the future of Upstate New York in mind," Schumer said. "The bill creates $50 billion in federal incentives to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the US. And guess what place in America is most suited to get these plants? Upstate New York. There are places in Albany and Syracuse and Western New York that have shovel-ready sites that the big tech companies are already looking at for new chip fabs."

So far, China has been winning the chip manufacturing war, Schumer said. He wants to shift the momentum back to the United States.

"It's time to build our future in Syracuse, not Shanghai; in Buffalo, not Beijing," he said.

He said the odds are high that semiconductor manufacturers are going to look to Upstate New York for their new plants, which will employ thousands of people in high-paying jobs.

"We're gonna go all out and we're going to beat China," Schumer said.

WNY STAMP, located in Alabama near the intersection of Route 77 and Judge Road, is more than 1,100 acres set aside for advanced manufacturing.  GCEDC has been pursuing tenants for the park for more than a decade, and after coming close with 1366 Technologies in 2015 (a project that failed, according to sources, because of then Rep. Chris Collins' unwillingness to support it), the IDA succeeded last year when Plug Power agreed to make a $232.7 million investment to build a new hydrogen fuel plant at the site.

Steve  Hyde, president and CEO of GCEDC, said the agency is pleased with the passage of the bill.

"Senate Majority Leader Schumer has long-championed upstate New York as the ideal region for critical growth of the domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D investments due to our university research and talent, our established and ever-growing semiconductor supply chain, along with our considerable capacity of renewable, reliable, and competitively priced electricity," Hyde said in a statement. "We applaud Senator Schumer for his leadership, and stewardship in getting Congress to pass the Chips and Science Bill, which will be the catalyst to growing the high-tech economy at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and all across upstate New York."

For all prior coverage of WNY Stamp, click here.

For a press release from Sen. Charles Schumer with more details about the bill, click here.

UPDATE:  The Hill is reporting that because of a deal between Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Charles Schumer on a reconciliation bill, Republican members of the House of Representatives will now, as of Wednesday evening, oppose the CHIPS bill.

Top photo: Sen. Charles Schumer in a screenshot of today's press conference.

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Aerial photo courtesy GCEDC showing Plug Power under construction and the WNY STAMP acreage. 

February 15, 2022 - 9:03pm

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.

December 7, 2021 - 1:50pm
posted by Press Release in WNY STAMP, Business, GCEDC, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

Following his continued advocacy to make Upstate NY a global semiconductor manufacturing hub, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer personally called Tower Semiconductor CEO, Russell Ellwanger, about the company’s interest in expanding their operations. Schumer urged the CEO to locate their next semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant in Upstate NY. Tower Semiconductor is currently considering New York, along with several other locations, for a new $5 billion semiconductor fab plant that would create up to a thousand jobs.

Schumer said New York boasts several sites across Upstate that are ready to be home to Tower’s next chip fab, from the STAMP campus in Western New York and the White Pine Commerce Park in Central New York, to Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley and Luther Forest in the Capital Region.  Schumer added that Upstate New York boasts a thriving semiconductor ecosystem, top-notch universities, a world-class workforce, and a diversity of companies across the supply chain. 

“Tower Semiconductor’s interest in expanding its manufacturing operations in the U.S., and potentially in Upstate NY, is exciting news for the entire state and a potential game-changer for the region. I made it clear to Tower that I strongly support locating their new semiconductor chip fab in New York. I know firsthand Upstate NY has all of the ingredients to be a global epicenter for semiconductor manufacturing and that is why any of our multiple shovel-ready sites from STAMP in WNY, White Pines in CNY, Luther Forest in the Capital Region, and Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley is the perfect location for Tower Semiconductor’s new chip fab,” said Senator Schumer. “Our world-class New York workforce and distinguished research institutions, coupled with New York’s considerable experience in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D mean Upstate NY is tailor-made to be the home for Tower’s new fab. I stand ready to help Tower in any way for investment in New York, including securing the federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives, and further cement New York as a global hub for chip manufacturing.”

Schumer has long emphasized the importance of active federal support for the semiconductor industry including his push to include provisions in the FY2021 NDAA to create new federal semiconductor manufacturing, R&D, and training programs, noting that even though the U.S. revolutionized the semiconductor and broad microelectronics industries and invented nearly all of the key technology used to this day, by 2030, non-U.S. competitors are projected to control 83% of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10%, which would be a threat to national security and economic competitiveness.

In June, Schumer successfully passed through the Senate the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), legislation he introduced that combined his Endless Frontier Act to make a significant investment in research, development, and innovation, other bipartisan competitiveness bills, and $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the semiconductor-related manufacturing and R&D programs the senator authorized in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. USICA also created a program to support legacy chip production that is essential to the auto industry, the military, and other critical industries. Schumer is now working with the House to pass USICA, including the historic federal semiconductor incentives, into law as well as supporting the passage as part of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill of a new 25% tax credit for investments in domestic semiconductor facilities and equipment, modeled after the FABS Act. 

Tower Semiconductor is an Israel-based leading foundry of high-value analog semiconductor solutions and provides technology and manufacturing platforms for integrated circuits in growing markets such as consumer, industrial, automotive, mobile, infrastructure, medical and aerospace, and defense.

November 23, 2021 - 2:29pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, samsung, WNY STAMP, GCEDC.

Published reports today indicate that Samsung Electronics Co. has decided to build a $17 billion semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas, ending speculation that South Korea’s largest company would be locating the facility in New York State and, possibly, at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the town of Alabama.

A story from Bloomberg Wire stated the chip-making plant will be constructed in the Central Texas city, which is about 30 miles from Samsung’s giant manufacturing hub in Austin.

A news conference led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly is scheduled for 5 this afternoon.

Sources close to the project said the plant would create about 1,800 jobs and chip production is expected to start at the end of 2024.

As late as September, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer – during an appearance at STAMP to promote Plug Power’s decision to build a green hydrogen facility there – said that Samsung officials toured the 1,250-acre site owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center and that he was communicating “on a regular basis” with the company’s president.

A resolution posted on the Taylor, Texas, website reveals that the city is offering Samsung more than $300 million in tax credits for the first 10 years – and additional incentives for two subsequent 10-year periods, plus a tax waiver of 92.5 percent on all new property built on the site for the first 10 years.

November 5, 2021 - 12:13pm

A public hearing on the Town of Batavia’s 2022 contract with the Town of Batavia Fire Department is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Town Hall, 3833 West Main St. Rd.

The proposed contract, which would take effect on Jan. 1, calls for the town to pay the fire department $1,185,265 for fire protection for all of next year.

Town residents fund the fire department through a separate special district tax, which is expected to remain at $2.34 per thousand of assessed valuation – the same as 2021.

The town board announced the public hearing date at its meeting on Wednesday night.

In other action, the town board:

  • Approved an agreement in which the town will provide code enforcement services to the Town of Alabama, specifically for development at the WNY Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park.

According to the resolution, the Town of Alabama shall pay the Town of Batavia $55.44 per hour during normal business hours Monday through Friday. The charge for field inspections outside of that timeframe will be $83.16 per hour. Mileage incurred by enforcement officers also will be reimbursed.

  • Completed the preliminary 2022 budget process, setting the property tax rate at $2.51 per thousand of assessed valuation. The rate is a 12 percent decrease from 2021, and will generate $1,236,000 in property taxes – the same amount as last year.

The sewer rate remains the same as 2021 -- at $7.09 per 1,000 gallons used -- while the water rate for both residential and agricultural consumers is going up by 2 percent – to $6.32 and $5.12 per 1,000 gallons, respectively.

Salaries for elected officials are as follows:

  • Supervisor Gregory Post, $40,000.
  • Deputy Supervisor Dan Underhill, $18,000.
  • Council members Patti Michalak, Chad Zambito and Sharon White, $12,000.
  • Town Clerk/Tax Collector Teressa Morasco, $74,541.
  • Highway Superintendent Tom Lichtenthal, $20,101.
  • Town Justices Lisa Funke and Andrew Young, $28,840.

No one from the public spoke at public hearings on the budget, sewer and water rates on Wednesday.

October 20, 2021 - 2:04pm

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Gov. Kathy Hochul touted the hard working Western New York community today as she took part in a groundbreaking ceremony to recognize Plug Power, Inc.’s $290 million investment at the Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama.

“There is a strong work ethic here,” said Hochul, a Buffalo native who spent much time in Genesee and surrounding counties during her days as a U.S. Congresswoman and New York State lieutenant governor. “I come from just a little bit down the road – the granddaughter of a steel worker in a steel plant; my dad worked in the steel plant. In Rochester, he worked at Eastman Kodak and many other jobs.

“People are used to working hard, and employers are recognizing it. This is in our DNA. This is what they will get when they come here and invest here. They’ll get the very best people.”

Hochul was joined by Andy Marsh, chief executive officer of the Latham-based Plug Power, which is set to construct a major green hydrogen fuel production plant and a 450-megawatt electric substation that will provide power to the entire STAMP site.

Officials from the New York Power Authority were also on hand at the Genesee County Economic Development Center-coordinate event, which drew around 100 people.

The NYPA board previously approved a 10,000-kilowatt hydropower provision along with $1.5 million in funding from the Western New York Power Proceeds program, and 143 MW of High-Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market, drastically lowering electric bills through a reduction in electricity delivery chargers.

Other speakers were State Sen. Edward Rath, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein and GCEDC Vice President of Operations Mark Masse.

A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION

Hochul said that the location “is the place where the clean energy revolution is happening.”

She thanked officials at the NYPA for “harnessing the power of the Niagara River … and (being able to) spread that energy across the state – literally, spread the energy across the state.”

“To invest here and to send a message that this project is important enough to have your investment, but also to transfer electricity here and power here, and the conversion into green hydrogen. That’s not happening anywhere else; nowhere else are they being that creative,” she said.

She drew a round of applause when she said, “It’s happening here in Genesee County. And as a result, we’ll have North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility here in the State of New York, but right here in Genesee County.”

The governor said she was “so delighted” to be back home again as this county has special meaning to her.

“I heard Mark (Masse) say I was here a few times,” she said. “I was here a few times a week – to your candy stores and your shops and your restaurants and your downtown, and had the opportunity to talk about the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and so many other transformative projects. So, when I come back home here it gives me the sense of not just (being) excited about what we’ve done in the past but the possibilities in the future. And, ladies and gentlemen, the future is starting today.”

THANKING THE 'EARLY VISIONARIES'

She credited “early visionaries” such as Steve Hyde, former Senator Mary Lou Rath, Assemblyman Steven Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein and local government officials.

“Thank you for never giving up, for always having the faith. Your persistence and patience has paid off. And that’s what today is all about.”

And she thanked Marsh for seeing the possibilities in Genesee County.

“It’s companies, it’s people and it’s also places, and this place has been crying out for an opportunity like this to show what it was really made out of,” she said. “And the location, I’ve always said this. This region is spectacular because of its proximity to two larger urban areas …”

Masse said interest in STAMP from corporate site selectors from the advanced manufacturing sector -- including semiconductor and clean energy -- has never been stronger.

“There’s a long queue of prospects constantly asking for information, meetings and visiting the site. Our region and our site are very suitable for companies such as Plug Power to succeed and make a lasting impact,” he said.

MASSE PROMOTES SHOVEL-READINESS

Noting that the region has 2.1 million people in a 60-mile radius with 57 colleges and universities – and 4,000 engineering graduates annually, Masse said, “The only thing holding us back now is the increasing of our capacities of existing infrastructure to make this site completely shovel-ready.”

“This would have the full water, sewer, electric at the property line for any company looking to locate here so they can move quickly to construct their facility and be up and running as soon as possible.”

Masse said he was hopeful that New York State will continue to make infrastructure investments to advance the shovel-readiness of mega-sites such as STAMP.

Marsh compared Plug Power’s expansion to George Westinghouse’s pioneering electrical network more than 100 years ago.

“Hydrogen is really important, and green hydrogen is especially important,” he said, adding that projections show that 18 percent of the world’s energy is going to come from hydrogen.

MARSH FORESEES ACCELERATION

“And right here in the field will be the first large-scale green hydrogen network, not only in New York, not only in the U.S., but around the world. Just like George Westinghouse did with electricity years and years ago.”

He called that “a great accelerator for this local economy and Plug Power believes, with its investments here, which we hope to continue to grow – with our investments in Rochester – we will see the same.”

Marsh, mentioning that Plug Power’s green hydrogen will power forklifts at several big companies, said that 25 percent of food during COVID moved through Plug Power products.

“It really made the world realize what Plug Power was doing. We were able to raise $5 billion in the public market, which supplements a lot that goes on with support in New York and other places,” he offered.

CLICK HERE for more about today's developments.

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Photo above: Gov. Kathy Hochul speaking at this morning's Plug Power groundbreaking event at WNY STAMP in the Town of Alabama. Photos below: Hochul and Plug Power CEO (center) and other regional and state officials take part in the ceremony; state, regional and local government leaders turned out for the event. Photos by Steve Ognibene.

October 16, 2021 - 12:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, WNY STAMP, Plug Power, GCEDC.

Press release from Tonawanda Seneca Nation:

GENESEE COUNTY, New York — The Tonawanda Seneca Nation reached a settlement (with the Genesee County Economic Development Center) of a lawsuit seeking to stop Plug Power, Inc.’s construction of a facility that would anchor a manufacturing megasite, known as the STAMP (Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park) site. In June, the Nation petitioned the New York State Supreme Court to stop the development of the Plug Power project adjacent to the Nation’s land in Genesee County, but a judge dismissed the case on procedural grounds last week. The STAMP site is adjacent to the Nation and within the Nation’s ancestral territory.

“We’re disappointed that the court didn’t have the opportunity to hear our arguments in this case,” said Kenith Jonathan, Sachem Chief for the Wolf Clan of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation and keeper of the Western Door. “We never got our day in court to explain how the project would diminish the Big Woods and have a negative impact on our Nation and our way of life.”

In its petition to the court, the Nation warned that the development would diminish the Big Woods, a pristine parcel of land that citizens of the Nation forage and hunt on, as they have for centuries. The Big Woods is a source of various traditional medicines important to the Nation’s culture and health. For centuries, the Tonawanda Seneca people have relied on the medicines, passing down that knowledge from generation to generation. Tonawanda Seneca citizens also play traditional games not far from the proposed Plug Power site. Citizens of the Nation voiced concern that the games would be disturbed by the traffic, noise and light pollution from the project.

“Make no mistake; we are opposed to developing a manufacturing megasite adjacent to pristine woods on undeveloped land,” said Chief Jonathan. “While we are disappointed that the construction will go forward, this settlement includes important protections to reduce the impact on our Nation and to protect our way of life. We are hopeful that the agreement can be the framework for a more collaborative relationship with GCEDC and Plug Power moving forward.” 

The settlement negotiated by the Nation will permanently protect from development over 200 acres of land on the STAMP site that is adjacent to the Nation’s territory. Plug Power, Inc. also is prohibited from using pesticides on the protected lands, which will further protect the environment. The Nation also will have cultural resource monitors onsite during earthmoving activities — to help identify and protect any unanticipated cultural resource discoveries.

October 9, 2021 - 10:12am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, GCEDC, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Plug Power, WNY STAMP.

A lawsuit filed by the Tonawanda Seneca Nation challenging the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s State Environmental Quality Review determination in connection with the Plug Power, Inc., project has been dismissed by Genesee County Acting Supreme Court Justice Charles Zambito.

The nation contended that the liquid hydrogen facility, which is in line to become operational sometime next year at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama, would infringe upon its “Big Woods” sacred ground that is situated near the western end of STAMP.

As plaintiff in the legal action, the nation also sought to prove the GCEDC did not provide notification prior to the completion of the environmental review process.

Zambito, in his decision released on Sept. 28, ruled that the Seneca Nation failed to add Plug Power, Inc., as a defendant prior to the statute of limitations.

GCEDC reported its environmental impact determination on Feb. 4, giving the nation four months to amend its original suit of June 4 that listed only the GCEDC two top officers and board chair and vice chair as defendants.

The nation eventually added Plug Power, Inc., as a defendant on June 18 – two weeks after the deadline. Furthermore, it did so without “leave of the Court,” Zambito wrote, causing a delay in the amended petition’s filing until July 26.

In his analysis, Zambito wrote that “the proposed amended petition is untimely as it relates to Plug Power, Inc. (deemed a “necessary party”) and the individual GCEDC respondents. The motion to amend is denied accordingly and the amended petition is dismissed.”

He also dismissed the original petition for failure to include Plug Power, Inc., ruling that while the original petition was filed in a timely fashion, “the failure to join such a necessary party can result in the dismissal of the action.”

According to the GCEDC, 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.

The Latham-based company 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 GCEDC board of directors have approved the following incentives to Plug Power, Inc.:

  • Approved Property Tax Payments (Payment in Lieu of Taxes): $2.3 million per year, $46 million over 20 years.
  • Sales Tax Exemptions: $1.1 million.
  • Estimated Savings: $117.7 million property tax savings over 20 years if assessed at cost of construction ($232.7 million).
  • Anticipated assessment is much more likely to be $60-90 million. Payments of $2.3 million per year equate to a zero percent abatement on a $65 million assessment.
September 14, 2021 - 10:41am

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Press release:

The Buffalo and Rochester Building Trades Councils joined together this morning in the Town of Alabama to welcome Plug Power’s latest manufacturing plant to the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Construction of the $264 million plant in Genesee County is slated to begin Oct. 4. When completed the plant will produce "green hydrogen" for freight transportation and materials handling equipment.

Plug Power will become the first tenant of the STAMP campus, a 1,250-acre business park, in the town.

The Building Trades, representing 20,000 skilled trades people, are looking forward to working with Plug Power on this project as it will employ many craftspeople. When completed, the company also plans to create 62 full-time jobs with an average salary of $75,000, plus benefits.

To date, the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board recommended awarding $1.5 million to support this project. The New York Power Authority has the final say over awarding those funds.

The company is also seeking $2 million in support from Empire State Development, and a package of sales and property tax breaks through the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Through a process called electrolysis, the Plug Power plant will produce “green hydrogen” for fuel-cells used in transportation and material handling equipment.  This will be clean energy manufactured here in Western New York.

The Building Trades Councils represent 20,000 members in 18 construction unions in the Western NY region including :

Boilermakers, Bricklayers, Carpenters & Piledrivers, Cement Masons, Electricians, Elevator Constructors, Insulators, Ironworkers, Laborers, Millwrights, Operating Engineers, Painters, Plasterers, Plumbers & Pipefitters, Roofers, Sheetmetal Workers, Sprinkler Fitters and Teamsters.

Submitted photo from the WNY STAMP site this morning.

September 1, 2021 - 1:00pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, WNY STAMP, samsung, Plug Power, Charles Schumer.

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Representatives of Samsung have visited the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in recent days, Sen. Charles Schumer said today, renewing optimism that the international semiconductor manufacturer may join Plug Power, the Latham-based leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems, in placing a production plant at the 1,250-acre site in the Town of Alabama.

Announcing what he called a "two-pronged approach" at a press conference at the STAMP site off Route 77, Schumer (photo above) said that he has been communicating on a regular basis with the president of Samsung, based in South Korea, and the head of the company's United States operations -- promoting STAMP as the ideal location for the semiconductor facility it is looking to build.

The second prong of Schumer's plan is the passing of special tax credits by Congress to enable Plug Power to expand its operation in Genesee County even beyond its initial projection of producing 45 tons of green energy per day to 500 tons per day by 2025. Plug Power officials are expecting to begin operations at STAMP in about 16 months.

"If we become a manufacturer of high-end chips and if we become a center of hydrogren and hydrogen fuel and hydrogen cells, that will affect jobs in Buffalo, Rochester and all of Western New York," Schumer said. "It will be a great job magnet right here ... in Genesee County ... between Rochester and Buffalo."

Schumer said the goal is to attract jobs and tenants to "this campus right here in Genesee County ... and in Western New York."

He said he is trying to land Samsung's $17 million chip fab and touted Plug Power for building North America's largest green hydrogen fuel cell plant at STAMP.

"Those are two major, major things," he said, drawing applause from several government, business and education leaders who were in attendance.

WNY STAMP is owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which was represented by its CEO/President Steve Hyde and other high-ranking employees and board members.

The senator said key components of the strategy is to obtain federal dollars to attract a company such as Samsung, and "to bring critical infusions of federal support to make STAMP a domestic hub for new semiconductor and clean energy industries -- both."

Schumer said he is "quadrupling down" on his efforts to secure new semiconductor manufacturing at STAMP, adding that he authored legislation to allocate $15 billion dollars "so we can make our own chips here."

"If we don't do it, our national security is at risk and our economy is at risk," he said. "And if they're all made overseas -- in Taiwan and in China -- we're going to lose."

He said that many automobile companies in the U.S. are experience slow production because they can't get semiconductor chips.

"I've told the top brass at Intel, Micron and, of course, Samsung that STAMP is an ideal location, and, of course, I will use my clout as (Senate) majority leader once we get the chip manufacturing dollars passed into law ... I will use my clout to try and bring one of those companies right here to Genesee County."

The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 includes $52 billion in incentives for semiconductor manufacturing and research that Schumer said is critical to Samsung and other companies that want to expand their operations in the U.S. He said the USICA is supported by President Biden and "will get through the House (of Representatives) this fall.

Schumer said he has confirmed that Samsung is considering the STAMP site, although no final decisions have been made. 

"After a lot of calls showing them that STAMP is the right place for them and showing them that they would have the majority leader on their side, in terms of getting an allocation, they came and visited (last month) and saw for themselves. They paid a visit and saw first-hand how STAMP is -- how tailor-made STAMP is for hosting large semiconductor fab right here," he said.

PUSHING FOR PLUG POWER

Concerning Plug Power, Schumer said he is launching a $9.5 billion push to secure new hydrogen investments through the recently-passed, bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the House and the Senate.

"And we're also including more money for hydrogen and green hydrogen during the upcoming negotiations in the Budget Reconciliation bill," he said. "There are two major parts to this. Already in the bill that passed the Senate, is $8 billion to create four hydrogen hubs in the country. There's no better place than Western New York in terms of hydrogen."

He said Plug Power was the leading hydrogen cell fuel company in the country, and is in near completion of building a "giga-factory" in Henrietta that will employ 380 people.

Schumer said he also is promoting a multi-billion dollar "production tax credit" in addition to the investment tax credit that already is on the books. He said the production tax credit would lower the cost to make green hydrogen by up to $3 per kilogram "and that means more customers for green hydrogen, more demand for the fuel made here at STAMP and more demand for the Plug Power jobs in Western New York."

By increasing the output from 45 tons to 500 tons per day, Plug Power would be creating 700 additional jobs at the STAMP site, Schumer said.

Plug Power's hydrogen cells power forklifts used at some of the world's biggest companies, including Walmart, Amazon and BMW, said Plug Power President/CEO Andrew Marsh, who also was at the press conference.

"The bipartisan infrastructure job act has over a $1 billion for electrolyzers -- for research, demonstration, commercialization and also for reducing the cost and increasing reliability," Marsh said, adding that electrolyzers create hydrogen from green electricity (with) a zero carbon footprint.

He said that leading market experts foresee hydrogen as being 23 percent of the world's energy by 2050.

Marsh said Plug Power's goal is to produce 500 tons of hydrogen per day -- "that's equivalent to a million gallons of gasoline," he advised -- and is poised to do that, in part thanks to raising $5 billion as a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ exchange.

Currently, Plug Power has 1,700 employees, with 1,000 of them in New York.

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From GCEDC President/CEO Steve Hyde:

"The STAMP site was designed and is being built to enable the acceleration of new technologies and advances in manufacturing with our outstanding renewable energy and talent availability. The commitment by Plug Power to bring green hydrogen to the market with Project Gateway at STAMP, and of Senate Majority Leader Schumer to expand the benefit of Genesee County, our region and state, and for the future of our economy and environment."

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Photos below: Plug Power President/CEO Andrew Marsh speaking at today's press conference at WNY STAMP site; GCEDC President/CEO Steve Hyde with Schumer and Marsh. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

June 3, 2021 - 2:04pm

Press release:

Standing with Rochester Finger Lakes Region business and economic development leaders on Wednesday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer re-upped his push for the Senate to pass his bold, bipartisan initiative next week to propel American leadership in science and technology into the 21st century.

The legislation is in the debate process on the floor of the Senate.

Schumer’s plan – which includes passing the Endless Frontier Act, now part of the broader U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, provides $52 billion in federal investment to fully fund the implementation of the bipartisan semiconductor provisions he passed in last year’s defense bill.

It would dramatically increase U.S. investment in domestic advanced manufacturing and research & development of strategically important technologies like semiconductors and establish regional tech hubs across the country.

These investments could help lead to the creation of new jobs and jumpstart innovation across Rochester and Western New York.

Senator Schumer said these new investments would both supercharge work by the region’s key economic development drivers, including the University of Rochester (UR) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), to invest in new technological research and development that spur new jobs and businesses as well as support the region’s semiconductor manufacturers (like Akoustis Technologies in Candandaigua) and attract new semiconductor factories to the region’s STAMP business park in Alabama.

“We must immediately address several dangerous weak spots in our country’s competitiveness that threaten America’s global technological leadership. We’re in an all-out race for the jobs of the future and to protect our country’s global technological edge and it’s time to put New York’s top-tier workforce and tech community on the frontlines” Senator Schumer said.

“This legislation will enhance American competitiveness with China and other countries by building up places across Rochester and Western New York to lead in the innovation economy, creating high-tech American manufacturing jobs, strengthening R&D, and investing in workforce training capabilities.

“The stakes are enormous. If we do not invest now in the research, development, and manufacturing of technologies of the future, we risk falling behind in the race with China and other global competitors, putting at risk U.S. jobs, intellectual property, and national security.”

Today, the United States’ position as the unequivocal global leader in scientific and technological ingenuity and innovation is under pressure from China and is eroding. U.S. competitiveness and national security are being threatened by decades of U.S. underinvestment in research, manufacturing, and workforce development, coupled with foreign competitors stealing American intellectual property and aggressively investing to dominate the key technology fields of today and of the future.

Schumer said that without a significant and sustained increase in investment in research, education and training, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem across the nation, it is only a matter of time before America’s global competitors overtake the United States in terms of technological primacy, threatening national security and economic prosperity.

He cited a recent study authored by MIT Economists Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., and Simon Johnson in their book, "Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream," that concluded millions of new jobs could be created through a new federal effort to boost federal funding for the sciences.

They analyzed 102 regions to determine which are best poised to become new Tech-Economy hubs if provided federal scientific research & development investment and determined that Rochester ranked No. 1 as the nation's top region ripe for technological and economic growth. The authors argued for the creation of a bold new federal investment in science and technology, such as would be created now through the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

Additionally, Schumer highlighted the region’s STAMP business park (Science Technology & Advanced Manufacturing Park) as a site that can be positioned to attract new semiconductor supply chain or chip fab manufacturing facilities thanks to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

In recent months he has personally urged the top brass at Samsung, Intel, and Micron to look to locate their next U.S. chip production facilities in New York, said the legislation’s provisions to provide $52 billion in emergency spending to implement Federal incentives to semiconductor companies in return for building new chip fabs in the United States is already a game-changer, creating new opportunities for places like STAMP to attract new semiconductor jobs and factories and for companies like Akoustis Technologies to expand. 

Schumer’s plan is in the process of debate on the floor of the Senate and includes his "Endless Frontier Act." The plan would invest in three main areas – domestic advanced manufacturing; research, development, entrepreneurship, and workforce training in strategically important technologies like semiconductors; and establishing regional technology hubs through federal investment in economic development across the country to be global tech centers.

Schumer is also proposing $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the bipartisan federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D provisions he passed into law last year as part of the annual defense bill.

Details on the supplemental appropriations proposed by Senator Schumer appear below:

  • $49.5 billion allocated over five years for a CHIPS for America Fund. Funding must be used to implement the Commerce Department semiconductor incentive and R&D programs authorized by the FY21 NDAA (Sec. 9902 & 9906). Within the fund, the following appropriations are available:

                -- Incentive Program: $39 billion appropriated upfront and allocated over five years to implement the programs authorized in Sec. 9902. $2 billion is provided to solely focus on legacy chip production to advance the economic and national security interests of the United States, including helping to address the chip shortage faced by the auto industry.

                              $19 billion in FY22, including the $2 billion legacy chip production funding;

                              $5 billion each year, FY23 through FY26

  • Commerce R&D programs: $10.5 billion appropriated upfront and allocated over five years to implement programs authorized in Sec. 9906, including the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, and other R&D programs authorized in Sec. 9906.

                   -- $5 billion in FY22

                   -- $2.5 billion for advanced packaging

                   -- $2 billion for NSTC

                   -- $500 million for other related R&D programs

For use across the advanced packaging, NSTC, and other related R&D programs, the following would be provided:

                   -- $2 billion in FY23

                   -- $1.3 billion in FY24

                   -- $1.1 for FY25 and FY26

  • $2 billion for a CHIPS for America Defense Fund: Funding is appropriated up front and $400 million is allocated each year, over five years for the purposes of implementing programs authorized in Sec. 9903(b), providing support for R&D, testing and evaluation, workforce development, and other related activities, in coordination with the private sector, universities, and other Federal agencies to support the needs of the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
  • $500 million for a CHIPS for America International Technology Security and Innovation Fund: Funding is appropriated upfront and $100 million each year, allocated over five years to the Department of State, in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, for the purposes of coordinating with foreign government partners to support international information and communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities, including supporting the development and adoption of secure and trusted telecommunications technologies, semiconductors, and other emerging technologies.

An additional $1.5 billion is provided for implementation of implement the USA Telecommunications Act that was also passed as part of last year’s NDAA to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G.

Details on the Endless Frontier Act

As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee, it seeks to maintain and build on U.S. science and technology leadership through investments in research and development and strengthening regional economic development, manufacturing, and supply chains. The legislation would authorize roughly $120 billion over five years for activities at the National Science Foundation (“NSF”), Department of Commerce (“DOC”), the Department of Energy (“DOE”), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”).

It advances priorities including to reduce undue geographic concentration of R&D funding, encourage broader participation of populations underrepresented in STEM, and increase collaboration across federal agencies and with nongovernmental partners on innovation. Crucially, the Endless Frontier Act helps to bridge the gap of innovative technological breakthroughs happening at America’s premier research institutions by bringing those breakthrough to the applied science and commercialization space to benefit our countries growing innovative advancements.

Notable Provisions

Technology Directorate: The Endless Frontier Act would create a new Directorate of Technology and Innovation at the NSF to support research and technology development in key technology focus areas, such as artificial intelligence and quantum science, in order to strengthen the global leadership of the United States in innovation. Major activities would include funding research and development at collaborative institutes, supporting academic technology transfer and intellectual property protection, establishing technology testbeds, and awarding scholarships and fellowships to build the relevant workforce. The Directorate would be authorized at $29 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026, including a transfer of $2.9B to existing NSF divisions to support basic research collaboration.

NSF Research and Development Programs: The Endless Frontier Act would authorize $52 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026 for existing NSF activities, representing a 7-percent increase each year. The legislation would also create a Chief Diversity Officer at NSF and increase STEM education to enhance the domestic STEM workforce. The legislation also incorporates a series of new programs, including programs for precision agriculture, rural STEM education, quantum information science, skilled technical education, critical minerals, and bioeconomy R&D.

Regional Technology Hubs: The Endless Frontier Act creates a regional technology hub program at DOC to support regional economic development in innovation. Technology hubs would carry out workforce development activities, business and entrepreneur development activities, technology maturation activities, and infrastructure activities related to the technology development. The technology hubs program would be authorized at $10 billion over fiscal years 2022 to 2026.

Manufacturing: The Endless Frontier Act would authorize close to a quadrupling of the DOC Manufacturing Extension Partnership and create a new track within the program for public benefit activities like workforce development and cybersecurity services. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership would be funded at $2.4B over fiscal years 2022 to 2026. The substitute would also authorize the Manufacturing USA program, at $1.2B over fiscal years 2022 to 2026, and add workforce and coordination provisions.

Supply Chain Resiliency: The Endless Frontier Act would establish a supply chain resiliency program at the Department of Commerce to work with the private sector, for the purpose of identifying and recommending opportunities to mitigate or address supply chain vulnerabilities in the United States and in allied and partner countries. It would also amend the recently enacted CHIPS Act to provide $2 billion in incentives for domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies, such as for the automotive industry.

Schumer’s plan also includes $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the bipartisan federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D provisions he passed into law last year as part of the annual defense bill. An additional $1.5 billion is provided for implementation of implement the USA Telecommunications Act that was also passed as part of last year’s NDAA to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G.

Steve Hyde, president & CEO, Genesee County Economic Development Center, said “Senate Majority Leader Schumer has long-championed Upstate New York as the ideal region for critical growth of the domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D investments due to our university research and talent, our established and ever-growing semiconductor supply chain, along with our considerable capacity of renewable, reliable, and competitively priced electricity. We applaud Senator Schumer for his leadership, and agree that passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act would be catalytic in growing the high-tech economy at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and all across Upstate New York."

Schumer added, “These investments are key to preserving America’s position on the world stage as a current and future technological leader. In the coming days, I will push for final Senate passage of this legislation to ensure that the U.S.’ hand at home and abroad is as strong as possible as we compete with China on all fronts.”

June 1, 2021 - 11:02am

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving final incentives for a $345 million solar project in the Town of Byron, and construction of a campus-wide electrical substation at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP). Both matters will be discussed at the agency’s June 3 board meeting.

NextEra Energy Inc. is planning a $345.55 million Excelsior Energy Center utility scale solar farm project to be located on multiple agricultural properties in Town of Byron. The project is a 280 MW (AC) solar generation system, and a 20 MW 4-hour energy storage system, that will be interconnected with the electric grid.

The project will provide enhanced property tax payments via a 20-year PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and host benefit agreements. The project will contribute $6,500/MWAC in total PILOT/host benefit payments annually + a 2 percent annual escalator over the 20-year term.

Resulting property tax-type benefits of the project in the Town of Byron, Byron-Bergen Central schools, and Genesee County are estimated at over $45.2 million.

NextEra Energy is seeking approximately $32.7 million in property and sales tax incentives. A public hearing on the proposed agreement was held April 19.

Plug Power Inc. is planning to invest $55 million toward a campus-wide substation at STAMP. The substation will enable 100 percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

The proposed substation investment is in addition to the $232 million Plug Power is investing to build a green hydrogen manufacturing facility at STAMP. The facility is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs.

Plug Power is seeking approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the substation construction. A public hearing on the proposed agreements will be held at 10 a.m. on June 3.

The GCEDC Board meeting is at 4 p.m. and because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the meeting will be conducted via videoconference and can be viewed online at www.gcedc.com.

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