ALABAMA, N.Y. (WROC) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a press conference at the Western New York STAMP Tech Campus in Genesee County Wednesday.
According to the senator’s office, Schumer will announce plans to grow and attract new jobs at tenants at the facility. The senator says federal funding will be the “green light” STAMP (Science, Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Park) needs to become a regional leader in tech industries.
The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) website says the 1,250 acre parcel comes with “low-cost hydropower, sites, utilities and talent that are ready for advanced manufacturing and modern business operations.” Officials say WNY STAMP is shovel-ready, and conveniently located in between Buffalo and Rochester with nearby access to the New York State Thruway.
Schumer said the plan to bring more economic activity to STAMP was a two-pronged approach. Recruit Samsung to choose the location for its new chip factory, and build up Plug Power, which has already announced a significant investment at the campus.
Wednesday marks the second personal visit by the Senate Majority Leader to the STAMP campus. The senator previously pitched that Samsung choose the site for its proposed $17 billion factory.
Schumer announced earlier this year that the campus, located in the Town of Alabama, was under consideration for the project, which would create approximately 1,900 jobs. Samsung is hoping to open the plant late next year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Senator Schumer said in a January statement, the Samsung plant would be a “game-changer for the region.”
Schumer said Wednesday that Samsung officials toured the site, were impressed with what it is, and offered some feedback for notes to enhance the recruitment process.
Also at STAMP, the energy innovation company Plug Power is making a $290 million investment which will employ about 70 people across a 30-acre site. Schumer said Plug Power’s investment is a signal to other tech companies that the location has what businesses are looking for.
Brenor Brophy, Vice President of Project Development for Plug Power, and Steve Hyde, the President & CEO for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, discussed the massive project with News 8 in March during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.
“We are building North America’s largest green hydrogen plant in Genesee County,” Brophy said. “It’s part of the first large plant in a national network that will serve our customers in material logistics, material handling, and ultimately in heavy-duty freight transportation. It’s going to be about 70 employees on a 30-acre site. We’re going to use clean hydropower to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then we chill that hydrogen down to a liquid that makes it easy to transport. We’ll then transport it by truck to all of our customers in the Northeast region.”
Brophy said today most hydrogen is made from fossil fuel. The new facility will be the first commercial scale plant in the U.S. making hydrogen purely from renewable energy with zero waste and zero emissions. Hyde said it offers Plug Power tremendous advantages.
“What makes STAMP unique is that we have a 1,250-acre mega-site where companies can access 100 percent renewable electricity that’s highly reliable and priced at under 3.5 cents a kilowatt-hour with our region’s plentiful hydropower supplies,” Hyde said. “And that’s really enabled through the strategic partnership that we have with the New York Power Authority.”
In terms of what the investment means for jobs in the Greater Rochester region, Hyde did not hide his enthusiasm.
“This is nothing short of incredible and this is just their first phase commitment,” he said. “They’re making a combined investment of $290 million at STAMP of which they have generously agreed to help us fund the major substation that will supply power not only to their project as it grows but also to the rest of the clients that will ultimately locate at STAMP. They’ve committed about 70 high-paying jobs in this first round and there will be well over 100 jobs as they fully build out over the years. They’ve been absolutely special to have here – and not only their big investment in Henrietta but also here at STAMP as well. They’re highly complementary.”
Plug Power will now have two major facilities in the region. Brophy said the company has been won over by the local resources.
“So for our STAMP site, it really was the exceptional access to significant amounts of low-cost clean energy,” Brophy said. “And then we’ve already announced our Innovation Center in Henrietta which is 375 jobs in manufacturing for our fuel cells and electrolyzer technology – so that’s really attracted by the capable labor pool here. It’s a high-tech center and a lot of the equipment that we manufacture in Henrietta is actually going to end up installed at the STAMP site making hydrogen.”
Plug Power is also making a $125 million investment in an Innovation Center in Henrietta, which will create an additional 377 new jobs for the Rochester area. Learn more about Plug Power online at PlugPower.com.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.