09.02.22

SCHUMER SECURES $63.7 MILLION FOR BINGHAMTON VIA HIGHLY COMPETITIVE EDA REGIONAL CHALLENGE TO MAKE THE SOUTHERN TIER AND FINGER LAKES AMERICA’S NEXT MAJOR BATTERY RESEARCH & MANUFACTURING HUB; AFTER HIS PERSONAL ADVOCACY, SCHUMER DELIVERS MAJOR FED FUNDING WITH POTENTIAL FOR THOUSANDS OF GOOD-PAYING JOBS & POWERING THE FUTURE OF AMERICA’S BATTERY INDUSTRY

Schumer Fought Non-Stop For Over A Year, Calling Commerce Secretary Multiple Times For Binghamton University’s New Energy NY Proposal To Transform The Southern Tier Economy With Federally-Backed, Cutting-Edge Battery Research And Manufacturing

Senator Says This Investment Is Breathing New Life Into Region’s Industrial and Innovation Legacy With An Upstate Coalition Of Binghamton University, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY BEST, And More Leading The Way

Schumer: The Southern Tier & Finger Lakes Will Power The Future Of Battery Research & Manufacturing For America

Following his direct advocacy that secured Binghamton’s spot as a finalist in the American Rescue Plan’s EDA Regional Challenge, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that Binghamton University has been awarded $63.7 million for their New Energy New York proposal to make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing.

Schumer said the proposal includes the establishment of a national center for battery technology and manufacturing, the Battery-NY Center, providing the foundation the funding needed to advance cutting-edge research, attract innovative companies, secure the battery supply chain, and strengthen American manufacturing. Schumer said this investment will elevate Binghamton, the Southern Tier, and Finger Lakes as an emerging global battery hub, which can create thousands of good-paying jobs and fundamentally transform Upstate New York’s economy. 

I am proud to deliver this once-in-a-generation investment for Binghamton, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, and all of Upstate New York. New Energy New York  will make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes America’s home for battery innovation and production, bring manufacturing back from overseas, and train thousands of workers for good-paying jobs in an industry that will define this century. Broome County was once the global home to innovation, as the birthplace of IBM, flight simulation and virtual reality, and this project will breathe new life into that legacy, showing the world what I have long known: that Binghamton and Upstate New York workers can lead the effort to bring manufacturing back to America, and take us into the future,” said Senator Schumer. “We just made the largest ever federal investment in clean energy and batteries in the Inflation Reduction Act, electric vehicles are booming, and now Binghamton can seize this opportunity to grow the beating heart of this emerging battery industry right here in Upstate New York. I am proud to have worked hand-in-hand with Professor Whittingham, President Stenger, and the other coalition partners to deliver the federal funding to make this revolutionary project a reality.”

"The NENY (New Energy New York) team has worked hard on this project and without the leadership and guidance from Sen. Schumer from the beginning, we do not believe we would be here today," said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "Distinguished Professor and Nobel Prize-winner Stan Whittingham and our Associate Vice President Per Stromhaug had an idea they believed was crucial to our nation's energy security. They, along with their team and NENY coalition members, have carried the concept to this point where we can stand here today as winners of the EDA's Build Back Better Regional Challenge. With this win, and with the tremendous financial support from New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, we are confident we can turn the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of New York into the national hub for battery innovation, manufacturing and workforce development."

“Thanks to Senator Schumer Broome County will be the future home of innovation for America’s battery industry. Senator Schumer never stopped fighting for the potential we both know Broome County and the Southern Tier has, and today he delivered big to make that happen,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Under the leadership of Binghamton University and Dr. Whittingham the New Energy New York project will make sure the next-generation battery research, design, and manufacturing is led by Broome County workers. The future will be built here in Broome County.”

The New Energy New York coalition is one of 21 winners – each a regional coalition of partnering entities – that will receive awards between $25 and $65 million, making Binghamton’s one of the largest. For over a year, Schumer personally advocated to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for the selection of the Southern Tier as a finalist for this opportunity, and then personally visited the Southern Tier to double down on his advocacy after successfully securing Binghamton as one of 60 Phase 1 finalists nationally to compete for this final Phase 2 award. The senator explained that the $1 billion EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge Program, created by the American Rescue Plan, which he authored, received 529 Phase 1 applications from across the nation.

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 further promote the cause and Schumer routinely highlighted Binghamton as he continued to pass major legislation which invested in battery development as a central part of building the clean energy economy.

Schumer said batteries are integral to everyday life, helping to power mobile phones, laptops, smart watches, and electric vehicles, but unfortunately, much of the manufacturing of this critical technology has been offshored, leaving the country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions that can raise costs for working families and jeopardize U.S. jobs and national security. Schumer just shepherded the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment towards fighting climate change in history, to passage earlier this month, which includes targeted incentives to help bolster clean battery manufacturing in the U.S. making projects like Binghamton’s even more critical and priming the region to further benefit from federal investment to expand manufacturing opportunities and create jobs. This is on top of the investments already made in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which included $6 billion in federal incentives to expand capabilities of U.S.-based battery research and development, bolster domestic battery production, and shore up the American supply chain for batteries and energy storage technology that is often reliant on foreign sources. Imperium 3 New York (iM3NY), a lithium-ion cell manufacturer, recently commenced commercial production in Endicott, NY and as North America’s only pure home-grown battery gigafactory, is well-positioned to take advantage of federal investment. 

Specifically, Binghamton’s proposal will establish a battery technology and manufacturing center, the Battery-NY Center, in the Southern Tier, hosted by Binghamton University, with a focus on bringing the manufacturing of batteries back to America and supporting the economic resurgence of an underdeveloped area of the region. This investment will help scale up capacity for new battery products and manufacturing companies, and will also support workforce training programs to connect workers with new jobs in this growing industry. According to Binghamton University, the proposal is projected to support and create thousands of new good-paying jobs in the next 10 years, with the potential to support or sustain thousands of additional indirect jobs within related supply chains. The Southern Tier is home to hundreds of manufacturers, many of which have significant interests or are well positioned to participate in the battery supply chain, including iM3NY. In addition, the proposal will build on regional programs to help spur entrepreneurship, climate justice, and workforce training through partnerships with institutions of higher education and community organizations. The 13-member project coalition includes Binghamton University, NY-BEST, SUNY Broome, SUNY Corning Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and NYSTAR, among other key organizations such as IncubatorWorks, Clean Fight New York, and county and state government entities.

In the past month, Schumer has passed some of the largest federal investments in decades to boost manufacturing in America, from his CHIPS And Science Act to the previously mentioned historic Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in history in clean energy manufacturing and fighting climate change, making today’s announcement for Binghamton all the more timely to position the region for major new manufacturing opportunities.

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