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Viridi Parente, A Cutting-Edge Battery Storage System Manufacturer On Buffalo’s East Side, Is Already Getting A Big Power Boost From The Inflation Reduction Act’s Historic New Battery Programs

Now Schumer Wants Feds To Help Ignite The Next Phase Of Their Growth – Accelerating The Transformation Of Former American Axle Factory – And Plan To Add Hundreds Of New Jobs With A Game Changing DOE Loan

Schumer: It Is Time For The Feds To Spark Innovation, Supercharge Good Paying Local Jobs, And Power New Job Growth On Buffalo’s East Side  

Standing at Viridi Parente, a cutting-edge battery storage system manufacturer, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launched a major new push to help secure an up to $202 million investment through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program to accelerate the facility’s growth as it seeks to add hundreds of new jobs on Buffalo’s East Side.

Schumer explained that he is not only fighting for Viridi Parente to secure this critical funding, but also to protect programs Republicans have placed on the chopping block, that he created in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act and are already helping the company and broader domestic battery manufacturing industry grow.

Schumer said with companies like Viridi Parente leading the way, breathing new life into Western New York’s manufacturing legacy at the former American Axle Factory, which was once the beating heart of the community – we are entering into an era of manufacturing era unlike anything we have seen in this country for decades.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is the jolt of electricity Buffalo and companies like Viridi Parente have needed to supercharge their plans to breathe new life into the manufacturing legacy of Buffalo’s East Side. Right now China dominates the battery industry, but with the federal investment I secured last Congress, companies like Viridi Parente can lead the charge to make WNY and Upstate NY a major hub of America’s new clean-energy ‘Battery Belt,’” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am launching a major new push to spark the next phase of growth in Buffalo by helping Viridi Parente tap a major Department of Energy investment that will accelerate plans to add hundreds of new good paying jobs for a community that has been historically underserved.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “Our goal is to bring more high-paying advanced manufacturing jobs to East Buffalo. Viridi Parente is one of Buffalo’s employers who constantly gives back to the community. I applaud Senator Schumer for tirelessly advocating for our city and understanding the need for economic development to help transform our historically underserved neighborhoods.”

“Senator Schumer’s commitment and service over the two decades has accelerated the renewal of the Upstate Region,” said Viridi Parente CEO Jon Williams. “Viridi is grateful for Senator Schumer’s focus on Buffalo’s East Side and for his support of Viridi’s Fail Safe Battery Storage Technology. Viridi’s Fail Safe pack architecture will allow for battery storage to be deployed at scale, in occupied buildings across the Nation and the World. Safe Battery Storage technology is the 'Rosetta Stone' to solving the renewable energy equation."

Viridi Parente Head of Personnel Engagement Pastor James Giles said, “Viridi is creating new jobs in green energy manufacturing at a rapid pace, and is committed to hiring individuals from the East Side neighborhood where the facility is located.  We are appreciative of Senator Schumer’s recognition of the programming offered by the GreenForce that will assist in creating societal change and economic independence for East Side residents who are filling these roles”

Congressman Brian Higgins said,  “Viridi is a great example of Buffalo’s come-back story.  We are supporting U.S. manufacturing that meets the demands of today’s economy through programs and investments provided under the Inflation Reduction Act.  Forward-thinking company leadership, combined with innovative workforce programs like the GreenForce, provide endless opportunities for local workers and the regional economy.”

Schumer explained that Viridi Parente is a leader in developing cutting edge new battery storage systems. Viridi Parente started as a manufacturer of construction and heavy-industry equipment that set a new standard, by delivering safe, quiet, fully renewable mobile energy systems that could handle the heavy work of construction sites. Since those early days, Viridi Parente has grown and now produces fail-safe battery systems that are redefining energy storage and powering the transition to renewable energy, providing on-demand, affordable power for use in industrial, medical, commercial, municipal and residential building applications.

From point-of-use energy storage systems to electric construction vehicles, Viridi Parente is producing mobile and stationary distributed energy storage and vehicles with the power and scale to transform energy as we know it, helping make the zero-carbon energy revolution possible. These battery storage systems are even starting to be used locally. In July 2022, Viridi Parente and UB’s Hauptman-Woodward Medical Center completed the installation of a 500 kWh unit, the first large-scale installation of an energy storage system within an occupied space in the nation. Viridi Parente’s technology will ensure clean energy for the Medical Center for the next 20-25 years.

Currently, Viridi Parente is planning a major expansion, marking a significant milestone for the return of good-paying manufacturing jobs to the 1001 E Delevan Ave facility and the East Side of Buffalo. For over 80 years, American Axle was an employment hub for residents – walking to work or taking a short bus ride to the local plant – until the facility shutdown in 2007. By the end of 2023, Viridi Parente anticipates employing 200+ workers and up to 500+ employees by 2026.

Schumer explained that the Inflation Reduction Act he led to passage as Majority Leader included targeted incentives to help bolster clean battery manufacturing in the U.S., priming Buffalo to further benefit from federal investment as companies like Viridi Parente expand their manufacturing presence and create local jobs. Specifically, the law’s clean energy tax credits, like the Advanced Manufacturing Production tax credit, have played a key role in Viridi Parente’s expansion and accelerated the consumer demand for its products. Schumer said that right now Republicans are fighting to repeal the very parts of the IRA that have helped Virdi Parente grow in Buffalo. Schumer said he is fighting to protect these programs from any cuts, which would slow the market adoption of this critical technology, and the potential future growth of this industry.

Since becoming Majority Leader, Schumer has secured more than $135 billion to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and other energy storage applications, across not only the Inflation Reduction Act, but also the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Schumer said that right now some are fighting to repeal the very parts of the IRA, in addition to cutting funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act, that have helped Virdi and the broader domestic battery industry grow in Buffalo and across Upstate New York. Schumer said he is fighting to protect these programs from any cuts, which would slow the market adoption of this critical technology, and the potential future growth of this industry.

In addition to the targeted investments to help bring the battery industry back to America and to places like Buffalo, Schumer also highlighted how the IRA included historic funding for industry-boosting programs like the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Programs, which received $11.7 billion. At the event, Schumer highlighted how he personally wrote to Department of Energy Secretary Granholm in support of Viridi Parente’s application for up to $202 million in funding and explained how loans like this can help accelerate the ability of Viridi Parente to scale up and boost their existing expansion plans. This funding would allow Viridi Parente to install ten lines of automated manufacturing, skyrocketing their output of fail-safe energy storage systems from 3,000 units to 100,000 units annually. Automated manufacturing of these units will both accelerate their existing job creation plans and supercharge their potential for even more growth as demand for their product increases.

Schumer has a history of successfully delivering this kind of federal funding for growing the battery industry and manufacturing across Upstate NY. Following his all-out push last year, Schumer announced in February that Rochester’s Li-Cycle, a leading lithium-ion battery recycler, was awarded a major $375 million U.S. Department of Energy loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program to create 270 jobs at its Rochester HUB facility. In September 2022, Schumer delivered $63.7 million for the New Energy New York proposal to make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing— establishing a national center for battery technology and manufacturing, the Battery-NY Center, and providing the foundation needed to advance cutting-edge research, attract innovative companies, secure the battery supply chain, and strengthen American manufacturing.

These efforts also build on the $25 million in federal funding through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge that Schumer helped secure last year to expand job training and manufacturing careers on Buffalo’s East Side and across Western New York, following an all-out effort by Schumer, including personally lobbying President Biden. Schumer is also continuing to push to elevate Western New York as a prime candidate for the Regional Tech Hubs program created in his CHIPS & Science Bill. Viridi Parente will play an integral part of this ecosystem as WNY continues to breathe new life into its deep history in manufacturing.


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

Dear Secretary Granholm:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Viridi Parente, Inc. for funding from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program.

Viridi designs and builds innovative battery systems that are redefining energy storage and powering our nation’s transition to renewable energy. Their innovative, fail-safe battery systems, developed from materials used for aerospace and military applications, bring on-demand, affordable power wherever it is needed, replacing applications that have been historically dominated by fossil fuel energy sources.

Viridi’s leadership and workforce have truly embraced the "Build Back Better" mentality and are focused not only on the green economy but also lifting up those who have historically been left behind. Their 42-acre campus is a century-old GM American Axle & Manufacturing plant that has returned good-paying, green manufacturing jobs to the region. In order to build an equitable workforce, Viridi sponsored the creation of “GreenForce” a job-opportunity agency that is actively recruiting and training workers to sustain successful careers in the green energy economy. Led by East Side Community Leaders, GreenForce seeks to recruit unemployed and underemployed candidates from the East Side neighborhood and remove the traditional barriers to entry to employment.

Funding will provide Viridi’s facility with the necessary infrastructure improvements to its facility that are crucial to its ability to scale manufacturing. The proposed project will create 500 jobs on Buffalo’s East Side, and allow for Viridi to fulfill customer orders that have already been placed.

Congress and the Biden Administration have provided historic investments in electrification, which are already serving as the catalyst for the United States to become the world leader in alternative, behind-the-meter energy storage. The project detailed in Viridi’s application should serve as a benchmark for the community redevelopment endeavors between private development and public investment that have long been desired at the state and federal level. The presence of our world-class Western New York workforce, combined with the GreenForce, makes Buffalo’s East Side is an ideal spot to scale the manufacturing of distributed energy storage systems.

I applaud Viridi Parente, Inc. for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval. Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.