Plug Power building $290 million green hydrogen fuel plant and electric substation in northern NY

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Energy technology firm Plug Power has started construction of a $290 million electric substation and green hydrogen fuel production plant in Genesee County. The plant will be the first occupant of the controversial 1,250-acre Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama.

“We believe that Plug Power is just the starting point in a chain reaction effect that will result in success, not only at STAMP but across the state,” the Buffalo News quoted Mark Masse, senior vice-president of operations at the Genesee County Economic Development Center, as saying.

“Interest at STAMP among 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,” he said.

(However, before the announcement, there had been complaints that costs were spiralling STAMP and the site was failing the state’s “smart growth” test.

(Investigative Post reported in April: “The project’s location rated so poorly that it failed to meet seven of ten smart growth criteria under the state’s own grading system, prompting one good government group to label it a “poster child for location inefficiency.”)

Publicly-traded Plug Power will be the park’s first tenant. It is building a massive green hydrogen production facility expected to produce 45 metric tons of green liquid hydrogen every day for freight transportation and materials handling equipment across the Northeast, the newspaper reported. The project also includes a 450-megawatt electric substation that will service the entire STAMP site.

Empire State Development Corp. is contributing as much as $2 million in Excelsior tax credits. The project is also receiving New York Power Authority incentives, including a 10-megawatt allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project, $1.5 million from the Western New York Power Proceeds program and 143 megawatts of power that the Power Authority will procure for the company on the energy market.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she views the project as a catalyst to bring other companies to the site, while also positioning Western New York and the state as a leader in the “clean energy revolution.”

“This is not a futuristic dream,” she said at a groundbreaking event on Oct. 20. “It’s happening now.”

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