Powering Strong Communities

NYPA, partners provide incentives for green hydrogen project in upstate N.Y.

Incentives from the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Empire State Development, and Genesee County, N.Y., have prompted Plug Power to invest $290 million in a green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation.

The project requires Plug Power to fund construction of a 450-megawatt (MW) substation that will serve the entire Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama in Genesee County, as well as supporting future growth opportunities at the business park.

The plant will use 120 MW of Plug Power’s PEM electrolyzers to produce 45 tons of hydrogen per day using clean energy from NYPA. Plug Power has also committed to creating 68 jobs at the new facility.

The STAMP site is in NYPA’s low-cost hydropower zone and will be serviced by high-capacity, 100 percent renewable, reliable power sources. Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of NYPA's Niagara Power Project or businesses in Chautauqua County.

NYPA’s incentives for the project, which are subject to approval by the power authority’s board of trustees, will mark the first NYPA customer approved for economic development incentives under the Authority’s new green jobs criteria, announced in December by the Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has recommended that NYPA’s board approve the incentives.

The incentives are a 10-MW allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power station, 143 MW of high-load factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market, and $1.5 million from the Western New York Power Proceeds program.

NYPA’s funding for the project was 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 Cuomo in 2012.

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

The clean hydrogen production plant is part of New York’s effort to decarbonize freight-transportation and logistics en route to achieving the state’s goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050.

“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,” Gil Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “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.”

For Latham, NY-based Plug Power, the STAMP facility is part of its strategy to build up to seven hydrogen production facilities across North America by 2022. The New York plant will join Plug Power’s existing Tennessee plant in a network the company says would eventually be able to supply 500 tons per day of green hydrogen by 2025, 1,000 tons per day globally by 2028 and, when fully built out, offer transportation customers fuel at prices competitive with diesel.

In January, Cuomo announced that Plug Power would be establishing a $125 million Innovation Center in Monroe County that will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell stacks for its ProGen hydrogen fuel cell engines used to power a variety of electric vehicles.