FOLLOWING HIS DIRECT ADVOCACY, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES BINGHAMTON’S NEW ENERGY NY PROJECT SELECTED AS ONE OF NATION’S FIRST AWARDEES FOR PHASE 1 OF BUILD BACK BETTER CHALLENGE, BRINGING $500K AND A NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT ON THE SOUTHERN TIER AS AN EMERGING BATTERY MANUFACTURING HUB AND PUTTING THE PROJECT IN THE RUNNING FOR UP TO $100 MILLION FEDERAL INVESTMENT
BBB Regional Challenge Phase 1 Grant Will Provide $500,000 In Technical Assistance Funding To Develop Proposal To Supercharge Southern Tier Battery Manufacturing And Allow Project To Compete In Exclusive Phase 2 For Up to $100 Million Award To Transform The Southern Tier Economy
Senator Says Project Brings Together Major Regional Stakeholders: Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY-BEST, And More To Turn Upstate New York Into A Battery Manufacturing Powerhouse
Schumer: Southern Tier’s New Energy NY Project Being Selected As A BBB Challenge Finalist Is A Game Changer That Will Put Broome County On The Map For Battery Manufacturing
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that following his direct advocacy the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has selected the Binghamton University-led New Energy New York battery manufacturing project as a Phase 1 awardee and finalist for investment through the American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Schumer said that as a Phase 1 awardee the project will receive $500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop its proposal to expand research, development, testing, and workforce assets to meet the demand of the emerging battery manufacturing industry in the Southern Tier and Upstate NY. If fully funded, the project estimates that over a 10 year period as many as 8,000 jobs new direct jobs would be created as a result of this effort, with the potential to support or sustain thousands of additional indirect jobs. Schumer explained that as a finalist, the project will have the exclusive opportunity to compete for up to a $100 million federal award to the region through the EDA to implement the proposed projects.
“This is BIG news for Binghamton. The Southern Tier has long been a home to innovation, as the birthplace of IBM, flight simulation and virtual reality, and it continues to do groundbreaking research through world-renowned institutions like Binghamton University. Now, many more will see what I’ve long-known: the Southern Tier has all the right ingredients to be the nation’s next battery manufacturing and research hub,” said Senator Schumer. “This award will bring $500 thousand into the region and make the New Energy NY project eligible for an up to $100 million federal award to transform the Greater Binghamton area and broader Upstate New York region, create thousands of jobs, fuel the innovation necessary to combat climate change, and importantly strengthen a critical area of the U.S. domestic manufacturing supply chain. I am proud to have fought for the New Energy NY project to be selected for Phase 1 and I will continue to fight tooth and nail to secure the final award and supercharge this growing area of the Upstate New York economy.”
"We've worked for so many years to advance battery storage technologies and now more than ever, these advancements are needed to not only create jobs and improve the regional economy, they are crucial to our nation's energy goals and energy security efforts," said M. Stanley Whittingham, Binghamton University distinguished professor, researcher and 2019 Nobel prize winner in chemistry. "Our NENY proposal can turn our region into an energy technology hub that has the potential to turn out advancements that will have national and global impacts. We are excited to get working on the next phase and thank Sen. Schumer and the Economic Development Administration for understanding and seeing the potential of this initiative."
"When Stan Whittingham and Per Stromhaug discussed this proposal with me, it just made so much sense. With the appropriate support, we can become a national hub for battery innovation, manufacturing and workforce development," said President Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University. "We thank Sen. Schumer for his support on this as well as all that he does for our University and we thank the EDA for understanding and supporting our vision and providing us the necessary resources to move this forward."
Schumer said that the Build Back Better Regional Challenge received 529 Phase 1 applications from across the United States, and the New Energy NY project was one of 60 proposals selected as a Phase 1 awardee. Schumer emphasized that receiving this award and entering the competition for Phase 2 funding will shine a national spotlight on Binghamton and the Southern Tier as a rapidly growing battery-manufacturing hub, prime for investment and new jobs.
Schumer explained that specifically, funding through the EDA would be used in planning for a battery technology and manufacturing center hosted by Binghamton University, with a focus on further supporting economic resurgence in an underdeveloped area of the Southern Tier. In addition, the proposal would also build on regional programs to help spur entrepreneurship, climate justice, and workforce training through higher education partnerships. Project collaborators include a wide swath of the region’s universities, including Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, SUNY Corning Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as NY-BEST and other key stakeholders like IncubatorWorks, Clean Fight NY as well as county and state government entities.
The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, funded by the American Rescue Plan that Schumer crafted and led to passage earlier this year, is designed to assist communities nationwide with accelerating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and building local economies that will be resilient to economic disruptions. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is being implemented as a two-phase program. In Phase 1, the EDA will provide $500,000 technical assistance grants to a select group of awardees. Those selected as Phase 1 awardees will be considered “finalists” and the grants will be used by the finalists to prepare more detailed applications to compete for a Phase 2 federal grant to implement transformational projects that benefit their respective geographic regions and that are aligned around a holistic approach to building and scaling strategic industries. In Phase 2, the EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, for selected projects to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter of support for the New Energy New York proposal appears below:
Dear Secretary Raimondo,
I write in strong support of the joint “New Energy New York” proposal submitted by Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, and New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) to the U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge. This project is critical to the ongoing manufacturing and development of lithium-based batteries in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of Upstate New York.
Following the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical, now more than ever, that we continue our investment in strengthening the U.S.’s domestic energy supply chain. The proposed initiative seeks to facilitate this goal by expanding existing research, development, testing, and workforce assets to meet the increasing demand in the electric vehicle, battery, and stationary grid storage markets. The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes are home to a growing lithium ion manufacturing industry, with a gigafactory set to open in 2022 in Endicott, NY.
Specifically, funding through the EDA would help take essential steps in the planning for a battery technology and manufacturing center hosted by Binghamton University further supporting economic resurgence in an underdeveloped area of the Southern Tier. In addition, the proposal would also build on regional programs to help spur entrepreneurship, climate justice, and workforce training programs through higher education partners. The vast coalition assembled for this project speaks to the tremendous value and unwavering commitment of the community to bolstering this emerging manufacturing in Upstate NY.
I applaud Binghamton University, SUNY Broome, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY-BEST, and their regional partners for the ongoing role they continue to play in the economic development of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration.