Linde to invest in PEM electrolyzer plant in Niagara County

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Thu, Sep 8th 2022 09:30 pm

Company to build state-of-the-art, emission-free facility at Niagara Falls plant, retaining 86 jobs, creating 11 new ones

Empire State Development announced Linde, a global industrial gases and engineering company, is expanding the scope of its North American PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer project in Niagara Falls, which will now include a 35 MW electrolyzer plant. The new expanded project replaces a previously announced $17 million proposal.

ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Linde’s planned production of emission-free green hydrogen fuel for industrial and other power needs, generated by hydroelectric power at Niagara Falls, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help advance Gov. Hochul’s climate goals. This project also supports the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s focus on innovation and sustainability in advanced manufacturing, by expanding opportunities to upskill Niagara County’s workforce and investing in the technology of the future.”

Hochul’s team said, “Green hydrogen is produced by using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells (HFCs) are a popular choice among climate advocates as a potential source of emissions-free energy because they work utilizing a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the air to generate clean electricity, creating only water and heat as byproducts .

“The investment at the plant, located at 4501 Royal Ave., is part of Linde’s plans to help move toward a carbon-neutral New York and meet the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) that calls for 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.

“Linde’s new technology leverages the existing infrastructure at the Niagara Falls facility and will be powered by renewable energy sourced from the Robert Moses Niagara Power Station when it starts production in 2025. Its electricity source makes this application truly green, as hydroelectric power from the Niagara River will drive the system. The green hydrogen will be supplied to customers through the existing infrastructure at the Linde Niagara Falls site and has an opportunity to serve a growing customer base. It will also provide new opportunities for a cleantech workforce in Western New York, and advances environmental justice in this community with an industrial past.”

To facilitate Linde’s conversion to an emission-free hydrogen production facility, ESD offered tax credits of up to $2 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program. This new offer replaces a previous incentive, which has been terminated.

In July, the New York Power Authority board of trustees approved a 22-MW low-cost hydropower award to Linde for its expansion project to further advance the firm’s production of green hydrogen. Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project, or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region.

New York State Sen. Robert Ortt said, “As we strive to rebuild our economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to retain 86 jobs and create nearly a dozen new jobs in Niagara Falls is more than welcome. The significance of these career opportunities to our area cannot be overstated, and this investment by New York state will go a long way to helping provided employment security to Western New York families during this uncertain time.”

Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said, “Niagara Falls is eager to welcome Linde and their revolutionary, emission-free green energy facility to Western New York. This facility will further the region’s investment into the state’s Green Energy Program, facilitate the move towards a carbon-neutral New York, and secure 86 jobs in this growing sector. I want to thank Empire State Development, and I look forward to continued investments into zero-emission green energy in Niagara Falls and across the state.”

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “Linde has been an innovative industry leader throughout its history, and Niagara Falls is proud to be its home. This expansion and job creation reflects Linde’s continued impact in our community. We appreciate the assistance of ESD in this project, and thank Gov. Hochul for her unwavering commitment to our region.”

ESD is New York’s chief economic development agency. For more information, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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