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Schumer’s Relentless, Year-Long Advocacy To Elevate Binghamton University’s New Energy NY To The National Level Included Personal Calls to Commerce Secretary, Letters and Op-Eds, Delivered Major Fed Investment, will Energize The Southern Tier Economy And Jumpstart Cutting-Edge Battery Research and Manufacturing

Now, Following His Personal Invitation Last Month, Schumer Brings U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Castillo To Show How The Greater Binghamton Area Is Charging Up To Fulfill America’s Growing Battery Demand

Schumer: Binghamton University Captured Lightning In A Bottle With New Energy NY Project And Now The Work Begins For The Southern Tier To Spark The Next Generation Of Battery Innovation!   

After securing Binghamton University’s New Energy New York Proposal over $63 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today continued this momentum, by bringing the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Alejandra Castillo, to Binghamton, to show the Biden administration firsthand the potential the Southern Tier has to be a national leader as a hub for battery manufacturing and innovation.  Schumer has been fighting non-stop to elevate the Southern Tier and Upstate New York’s national profile for batteries, and under his leadership, passed robust new investments to grow this industry domestically and bring tech manufacturing to Upstate New York. With the federal funding to jumpstart the project now secured, last month, he personally invited Assistant Commerce Secretary Castillo to visit the region and see how the coalition’s planned efforts will create thousands of good-paying jobs in the Southern Tier powering U.S. leadership in battery technology, driven by this major EDA award and supported by the significant legislation Schumer led to passage to bring battery manufacturing back to the U.S. and energize Upstate New York’s economy.

“Binghamton and the Southern Tier have a national spotlight and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become the future of battery research and manufacturing for America. I am honored to welcome Assistant Commerce Secretary Castillo to Upstate New York to show her and the Biden Administration firsthand how the Southern Tier’s powerhouse workforce and research institutions, thanks to our investment, are ready to supercharge the growth of America’s battery industry,” said Senator Schumer. “None of this progress is by accident. I have always known Binghamton had the spark and talent to become the center for battery innovation and manufacturing, but we needed the federal government to light the fuse and give the boost the region needed to power this project. Since becoming majority leader I have fought tooth and nail to increase federal investment to bring manufacturing jobs and industry back from overseas and Binghamton’s battery hub is a shining example as to how we are laying the foundation for the Southern Tier and broader Upstate New York region’s future to be brighter than it’s past.”

Schumer added, “Look at what is happening around Upstate New York, from Micron’s unprecedented investment in Central New York and new battery manufacturing with Zinc8’s investment in the Hudson Valley, to the revival of manufacturing in Western New York, including a recent $117 million Department of Energy investment in Anovion Battery Materials in Niagara Falls, and the potential National Semiconductor Center in Albany. We are seeing a renaissance of manufacturing in Upstate New York not seen in generations, and that is directly because of policies like the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, my CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.”

"This has been an exciting day for Binghamton.  Once again, Senator Schumer and the EDA under Assistant Secretary Castillo's leadership are shining a spotlight on our ambitious project to develop our region into a national and global leader in battery innovation, manufacturing and workforce development," said Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University President. "The Senator has been our advocate on this NENY initiative from the beginning and we are grateful for his guidance and advocacy as well as his work to make domestic battery production a national priority. This along with his leadership on the CHIPS and Science Act and CHIPS+, will help boost cutting-edge research at institutions like Binghamton, and bolster promising domestic industry manufacturing efforts.  All of these actions will combine to once again solidify our region as the home to innovation."

During a roundtable discussion, Schumer, along with Assistant Commerce Secretary Castillo, discussed with coalition partners how the battery supply chain is critical in everything from products in our daily lives, to America’s energy independence and our national security, yet for far too long we have made almost batteries here at home, losing these research and manufacturing jobs to overseas and becoming over-reliant on batteries from countries like China. Binghamton University’s New Energy New York, however, is positioned to be a turning point in reversing these trends, helping to rebuild American leadership in battery research and manufacturing that is essential to our transition to a clean energy economy. Securing the $63.7 million American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge award was part of a year-long effort by Schumer, who, working with coalition partners, to elevated the Southern Tier and broader Upstate New York region as a national leader in battery research and manufacturing, while simultaneously passing robust legislation to bolster the success of the domestic battery industry.

One of Schumer’s first major acts as majority leader was leading the American Rescue Plan to passage to both bolster America’s response to the pandemic, and boost the long-term economic recovery of regions that needed it most through programs like the $1 billion?Build Back Better Regional Challenge. As the Regional Challenge program was stood up and Binghamton University developed its battery hub proposal for federal funding, Schumer began personally advocating to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for the selection of the Southern Tier for major federal investment. In December 2021, following Schumer’s advocacy, Binghamton’s project was selected as a Phase 1 awardee out of over 500 applications from around the country to compete for a final award. In April 2022, Schumer personally visited the Southern Tier to double down on his advocacy and again reiterate his support to federal leaders to select Binghamton as a final Regional Challenge awardee.  In June, Schumer, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, and Dr. Stan Whittingham, the 2019 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on the development of lithium ion batteries, all joined forces and penned a joint op-ed on the importance of bolstering battery technology for America’s future to again try to elevate the profile of the project. Finally in September 2022, Schumer secured Binghamton’s spot as a final awardee, with a $63.7 million federal investment, one of the largest grants, to help make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing.

Intertwined with all of Schumer’s direct action to make Binghamton’s New Energy New York project a success, he simultaneously worked to include robust new investments in scientific research, manufacturing, workforce development, and clean energy, specifically batteries, which can boost the success of this industry in Upstate New York. These new bills include his CHIPS and Science Act, which invests billions in increased federal funding for the National Science Foundation to bolster cutting-edge research, including in batteries, as well as STEM education and training that will help strengthen the New Energy New York’s battery coalition’s top partner schools like Binghamton University and the Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as technical education programs at community colleges that will assist with workforce training. The Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in fighting climate change ever, creates new electric vehicle tax credits, which both spur demand for domestically-made batteries because of the made in America requirements, and private sector investment to build out these supple chains domestically, bringing back production from overseas and bolstering the need for projects like New Energy New York. These made in America requirements for EV batteries are already showing results in jumpstarting this industry domestically. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act also add billions of dollars in new federal investment through the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program and through Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Energy, and Production tax credits to accelerate and expand the domestic battery and other clean technology industries. Finally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act includes over $6 billion in Battery Manufacturing and Recycling and Battery Materials Processing grants to build out America’s battery supply chain, which provides further federal investment opportunities to directly boost Binghamton and Upstate New York’s leadership in battery manufacturing.

Schumer’s efforts to make New York a leader in the future of battery research and manufacturing is already seeing results across the state. The Southern Tier is already home to hundreds of manufacturers, many of which have significant interests or are well positioned to participate in the battery supply chain, including Imperium 3 New York (iM3NY), a lithium-ion cell manufacturer that recently commenced commercial production in Endicott, NY as North America’s only pure home-grown battery giga-factory and is well-positioned to take advantage of federal investment. Earlier this year following his direct appeal, Zinc8, a leader in cutting-edge battery and energy storage technology, officially signed a letter of intent to make Ulster County their first major manufacturing hub as the company looks towards commercialization, which will bring up to 500 good-paying clean energy jobs to New York, with the company directly citing the Inflation Reduction Act and Schumer’s support and advocacy as deciding factors in the company’s decision to invest in New York. Last month, Schumer visited Li-Cycle in Rochester, a cutting-edge battery recycler, which is opening a new North American Hub that is slated to bring over 200 good-paying jobs and that will have even further growth opportunities from the federal investment included in the bills Schumer passed. And just yesterday, the Department of Energy awarded $117 in federal funding to Anovion Battery Materials in Niagara County to expand its Sanborn, NY operations to produce more synthetic graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, creating over 300 high-quality clean energy jobs