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After Schumer Successfully Urged The Department Of Energy To Advance The Northeast U.S. Hydrogen Hub Proposal, Schumer Is Doubling Down To Secure $1.25 Billion Investment Stemming From His Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Make Rochester A Clean, Green Hydrogen Hub

Senator Says Northeast Hub Is A Collaboration Of Seven States And Over 100 Partners – Including Rochester’s Globally Recognized Plug And Groundbreaking Research Institutions Like RIT – That Would Give Upstate NY The Spark Needed To Supercharge The Buildout of Clean Hydrogen Production & Utilization With Thousands Of Clean Energy Jobs

Schumer: Rochester Is Perfectly Suited To Fuel The Future And Power The Nation’s First Ever Green Hydrogen Hub!

Standing at the Plug Rochester Gigafactory, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launched a new all-out push to urge the Department of Energy (DOE) to select the NYS-led Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub to win $1.25 billion under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hydrogen Hub competition created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Because of Schumer’s advocacy, Rochester is already home to Plug’s 400+ job Gigafactory, and also features North America’s largest green hydrogen fuel production facility currently being constructed at the STAMP business park in the Finger Lakes. With these investments in place, Schumer said Rochester and Upstate NY would benefit big from this $1.25 billion in federal funding that would create thousands of new jobs. Schumer revealed he has personally written to Energy Secretary Granholm, leading a multi-state coalition, to back this multistate effort lead by New York, which would supercharge the region, and places like Rochester, to advance research and production of clean, green hydrogen creating thousands of new good paying jobs in the fight against climate change.

“From hosting Plug’s 400+ job green hydrogen Gigafactory, to having North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility being constructed in nearby Western New York, Rochester is leading the nation in green hydrogen energy production sparking innovative research that is turning water into carbon free fuel cells, feedstocks, and so much more,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I assembled a vast coalition to back this seven-state effort and directly write Energy Secretary Granholm to make clear that because of places like Rochester, New York and the Northeast has all the right ingredients to be the nation’s first ever Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub and fuel America’s clean energy future.”

Schumer added, “Green hydrogen will play a major role in meeting the world’s energy needs, and I want New York to be the place that’s bringing this technology to the world. Rochester’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.”

In a Schumer-led Senate delegation letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm the senators explained how the Northeast Hub, including seven Northeast states – New York, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont – will combine efforts throughout the region to advance research and production for fueling hard-to-decarbonize sectors with clean, green hydrogen.  Schumer explained the goal of the Hydrogen Hubs is to beat global competitors in the race to develop this new clean energy source so that the United States can become the global leader in supplying this new, much-needed clean energy source to the world while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Schumer explained the Northeast Region Hub would achieve this goal through a public-private partnership with over 100 partners including Plug and RIT that together would employ thousands of new workers to build new green hydrogen manufacturing plants to make the estimated 265 million tons/day of hydrogen needed to meet future demand, transport and deliver this fuel to customers, and build the millions of needed fuel-cell engines that will use this green hydrogen to power vehicles, commercial trucks, warehouse forklifts, cloud computing data center generators, airplanes, and so much more.

Schumer said the $1.25 billion federal investment is exactly what is needed to supercharge the Rochester Finger Lakes region into a global clean, green hydrogen powerhouse. Upstate NY is already home to so many hydrogen economy assets including work-class research and workforce training institutions like RIT and production facilities like Plug’s Rochester Gigafactory that makes electrolyzers, which are the equipment that uses water to make hydrogen fuel, as well as the fuel cell engine stacks that then use the hydrogen fuel to power everything from commercial equipment, trucks, buses and vehicles to electrical grid and cloud computing backup generators.

If selected for the billions in federal investment, the Hub will work with over 100 public and private partners to undertake more than a dozen projects across the 7-state NE Hub area to do things like build new green hydrogen fuel production facilities, build new infrastructure to transport and deliver hydrogen fuel to customers, and help utility companies, industrial plants, and consumers to begin using clean hydrogen fuel to generate the power they need.  While the application is pending the full list of projects is not public, however Schumer described the types of activities that can result from the Hub. For example green hydrogen fuel could be made at a new New York plant, then transported on a hydrogen-powered truck made in Massachusetts to an Amazon or Walmart distribution center in Connecticut that will use it to power everything from their warehouse forklifts, to heating and providing electricity for their building.  Or the hub could make it possible for clean hydrogen, instead of fossil fuels, to power city buses in New York City or Boston or to power electric-vehicle charging stations in remote areas of Maine or Upstate New York.  Hydrogen generators can be used to provide the needed backup electrical power for northeast utility companies during peak demand to avoid brownouts or for cloud computing data centers which require substantial power but can never go offline.  And all of these investments will create new jobs - from welders and skilled manufacturing technicians to material engineers, and more - which hub funding will create by educating and training new, underrepresented, and dislocated workers while leveraging existing specialized and skilled workers who are a critical part of the clean energy transition.

“Senator Schumer's long-term leadership has accelerated the hydrogen economy, and his unwavering support of the landmark IRA has played a crucial role in fostering job creation in New York State," said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug. "As we at Plug actively build the green hydrogen economy, we take pride in our role in transforming the nation’s energy landscape.”

“I want to thank Senator Schumer for leading this effort. RIT students and educators are ready to assist a NYS-led Northeast Hub that will develop comprehensive solutions that can help address the technical, economic, and social aspects of hydrogen power,” said RIT President David C. Munson, Jr. “This proposal is an important step toward accelerating the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy system, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and preserving our planet for future generations.”

“With our wealth of fuel cell expertise, research facilities, and manufacturing know-how—Rochester is the ideal spot for a green hydrogen energy production hub,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I look forward to Plug Power’s future development in our area and appreciate their realization of Monroe County’s potential. Thank you to Senator Schumer for his leadership in advancing the Northeast U.S. Hydrogen Hub Proposal and supporting investment in our regional economy."

“NY-BEST greatly appreciates Senator’s Schumer’s support for the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub proposal. NY-BEST members working on clean hydrogen are developing solutions to decarbonize electricity generation, transportation, and the industrial sector while also building an industry that will be a significant economic engine for the State and the region. With DOE’s support, the Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub will fund important new clean hydrogen project development, production, and manufacturing and create thousands of new jobs here in New York and across the northeastern United States .” said Dr. William Acker, Executive Director, New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST).

Schumer explained his Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided $8 billion for the Department of Energy to establish four or more Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs and said that the visionary package of billions in new clean hydrogen energy investments comes at the perfect time to power up new jobs and growth in Rochester. Schumer explained that Rochester 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. He said that if selected for federal investment, the Northeast Hydrogen Hub would mean thousands more clean energy jobs across the Finger Lakes region, New York, and beyond and major federal investment to cement Rochester as a leader in the fight against climate change and the future of carbon free energy production.

In 2022, Schumer directly wrote to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to urge the DOE to make New York State home to the nation’s first Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub. Late last year, Schumer said the DOE agreed to advance the Northeast U.S. Hydrogen Hub proposal by including it in their first shortlist of applicants that the agency is encouraging to apply. In April 2023, the Northeast Hub submitted its official application and is now working to show the DOE why the region is perfectly suited to become a global leader in clean hydrogen production to power the fight against climate change.

Senator Schumer has been leading the charge to expand clean hydrogen production in New York for years. In 2020, Senator Schumer made a personal call to Plug 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 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.

A copy of the Schumer-led delegation letter signed by Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Reed, Whitehouse, Murphy, Blumenthal, Menendez, Welch to Energy Secretary Granholm appears below:

Dear Secretary Granholm,

As the senators representing the northeast region, we join together to write in strong support of the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (NE Hub) proposal under the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program. The NE Hub proposal seeks $1.25 billion in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Together with the federal and non-federal shares, the NE Hub proposal represents a historic $3.62 billion investment to advance clean hydrogen projects across the Northeast.

The NE Hub is a collaboration of seven states - New York, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont. The states’ will leverage their individual ambitious climate and clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to advance a clean hydrogen ecosystem in support of President Biden’s ambitious climate target of reducing U.S. emissions 50-50% beneath 2005 levels by 2030. The NE Hub proposal includes over one dozen projects across the seven states to advance clean electrolytic hydrogen production, consumption, and infrastructure. By focusing the combined efforts of the region on the hard-to-decarbonize sectors, including transportation and heavy industry, the NE Hub projects will produce an excess of 265 million tons of clean hydrogen per day, while reducing GHG emissions by over 25%, compared to current technologies.

Together with over 100 partners, the NE Hub is committed to demonstrating the economic and decarbonization opportunities presented by clean hydrogen. The NE Hub is committed to doing this important work in coordination with local communities to maximize the benefit to those which need it most, and continue to build out the workforce we need to meet our climate targets. To advance this work, the NE Hub will work with public and private partners to educate and train new, underrepresented, and dislocated workers. Additionally, the states will leverage existing specialized and skilled workers who are a critical part of the clean energy transition. The NE Hub is also committed to advancing this work in an environmentally just and equitable way to meet Justice40 and other comparable state commitments.

Therefore, we strongly urge you to provide the NE Hub full funding through the IIJA Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program. With this support, the NE Hub will serve as a leading model for developing regional hydrogen economies, continue to drive down the cost of green hydrogen, and demonstrate the myriad of economic, environmental, and human health benefits that clean hydrogen can provide across our region.