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Schumer In Direct Letter To U.S. Secretary Of Energy Says Hydrogen Production And Research Facilities From WNY, Rochester, & The Capital Region To Long Island Are Prime To Jolt U.S. Global Clean Energy Leadership

Senator Says New York’s Globally Recognized Companies Like Plug Power, Evolve Hydrogen, & More In Tandem With Groundbreaking Research At Brookhaven National Lab, RIT, Cornell, Stony Brook, Give New York The Spark Needed To Supercharge Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing In The U.S.

Schumer To Feds: New York Is Ready To Fuel The Future And Power The Nation’s First Ever Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub!

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 makes 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 Request 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.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to Energy Secretary Granholm appears below:

Dear Secretary Granholm:

As the Department of Energy (DOE) moves forward in their process to designate Regional Hydrogen Hubs, I write to present the compelling case for New York to serve as the center of one of these hubs. The historic investment included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will serve as the catalyst for the United States to become a leader in hydrogen and New York is well equipped to play a key role in this growth. New York’s existing hydrogen economy is home to diverse feedstocks and end-uses, while also being located strategically to provide benefit to the surrounding regions of the Northeast and Great Lakes and featuring leading companies and research institutions with partnerships across the nation. As the Department continues to develop the guidance and request for proposals for this program I ask you to work closely with my office and the spectrum of hydrogen stakeholders in New York.

New York’s hydrogen economy encompasses all parts of the hydrogen supply chain.  Plug Power, a leader in the green hydrogen economy headquartered in Latham, NY and the largest builder of hydrogen refueling stations in the world, is investing millions to now construct North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility in Western New York and just opened a ‘Gigafactory’ in Monroe County, NY to produce hydrogen electrolyzers that can create hydrogen fuel to power their own hydrogen-fuel cell equipment, as well as other hydrogen users in the region. Evolve Hydrogen, based on Long Island, is developing a polymer-based hydrogen-producing electrolyzer that can extract hydrogen from groundwater, tap water, and even seawater, without desalination. With industrial users like General Motors and GlobalFoundries, and one of the central arteries for US transportation and shipping, the opportunities to build a hydrogen network in New York are unparalleled. As we also invest in offshore wind capacity in the New York Bight, paired with cheap, clean, and reliable hydropower in Upstate New York, we have a more reliable, clean source of power than almost anywhere else in the country. And thanks to our own Brookhaven National Lab, and institutions of higher education, like the Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and Stony Brook University, New York is already a hub for groundbreaking hydrogen research. With stakeholders at all points of the hydrogen value chain, New York has cultivated a hydrogen economy conducive to growth and greater benefit for the broader region and nation. 

The potential for growth has been bolstered by the support of state officials, agencies, and the labor community, and their desire to make New York a hydrogen hub. In her recent State of the State, Governor Hochul outlined a plan to link several regions across the state to create a single hydrogen network and identified three lead agencies for this effort – the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Empire State Development (ESD). As these agencies develop a proposal for a Hydrogen Hub, they will also design new regulations, prize contests, and demonstration projects to study the use of green hydrogen across the economy. This work is further bolstered by the strong support for the hydrogen buildout by many leading voices in the labor community, including those in the National Building Trades Union on Long Island. The support of the State government and key stakeholders across the state presents a perfect environment for a DOE Hydrogen Hub that would flourish.

I would like to thank you and all of the hardworking staff at the DOE for your tireless work implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and always being a great partner to New York. As DOE moves forward with the implementation of the Hydrogen Hubs, I ask that you remain in contact with my staff and work closely with the State of New York. Working in partnership as you develop guidance and prepare requests for proposals will ensure that the myriad of hydrogen stakeholders in New York can best contribute to our nation’s leadership in developing a strong hydrogen economy.

The magnitude of this investment for New York is not lost on me. In such a diverse hydrogen value chain, it is vital that we hear from stakeholders at every point. I hope to work with stakeholders across the state to develop a bold proposal which benefits industry, workforce, research, education, environmental justice, and labor. I look forward to working closely with the DOE, the State of New York, and all the hydrogen stakeholders across the state to make New York a DOE Hydrogen Hub.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact my staff.