ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Senator Chuck Schumer traveled to Rochester to speak on the environmental effects of the just-passed Inflation Reduction Act early Monday afternoon.

The senator held his address outside the Li-Cycle battery recycling hub, alongside Li-Cycle President CEO & founder Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle Employees, local elected leaders, and representatives from RIT.

The Inflation Reduction Act, sponsored by Schumer and Joe Manchin (D-WV), is the single largest federal investment in clean energy in the country’s history.

Its passing delivers more than $300 billion to manufacturing developers, an amount that officials hope will make the Finger Lakes the future hub of green energy technology and the battery industry.

“This is a game changer,” Schumer said. “It’s going to bring jobs, jobs, jobs to upstate New York. I am using my clout as majority leader to make upstate New York, a center of all of this new manufacturing. Batteries, every piece of modern technology needs batteries. From laptops to electric cars to cell phones, even my flip phone.”

The Li-Cycle Corporation, a leader in lithium battery recycling based in Eastman Business Park, will be at the forefront of the senator’s effort to accelerate the state’s clean energy growth.

Li-Cycle is one of the nation’s largest battery mineral producers. The Rochester company recycles end-of-life batteries rather than trashing them, and repurpose them for a new life in the supply chain.

“Right now we almost make none of these batteries in America. For decades in the 70s and 80s and 90s, we let all of this great manufacturing go overseas,” Schumer said. “So what we have said is we’re going to stop relying on china for these rare minerals. We’re going to make the US a domestic source.”

To succeed, the company’s leaders promise to make the most of the city’s resources to produce jobs and create an electric power grid of green energy production.

Li-Cycle CEO, & co-founder Ajay Kochhar calls it “a clean industrial revolution.”

“I call it urban mining, that’s what it is,” Kochhar said. “We’re recycling about 225k electric vehicles worth of material through this facility, and making the equivalent amt of material out of it.”

Schumer hopes he can secure a total of $3.1 billion for Li-Cycle manufacturing. The local company will invest $485 million in a Rochester Hub expected to create 220 new jobs and more than 1,000 jobs in construction. Li-Cycle has an existing Spoke facility in Rochester that supports more than 35 jobs. Li-Cycle expects to begin commissioning the Rochester Hub in stages in calendar 2023.

The Inflation Reduction Act was enacted in early September. Apart from its green energy incentives for jobs and manufacturing, the legislation makes an $80 billion payment to the IRS to fight inflation.

As well as encouraging investment in domestic energy production and manufacturing, the act sets a goal of reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.

Full conference:


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