March 8, 2022
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces the Groundbreaking of Plug Power's $55 Million Manufacturing Facility in Albany County

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces the Groundbreaking of Plug Power's $55 Million Manufacturing Facility in Albany County

Company Has Committed to Create More than 1,600 New Green Jobs at Slingerlands Facility

New 350,000 Square Foot Plant Will Expand Company's Line of GenDrive Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems

Governor Hochul: "That's the responsibility that's on our shoulders to make sure that we are stewards of the future. And part of that has to come into exploring and innovating and financially supporting alternative forms of energy. So that's why, when I said we're going to become a global leader, I meant it... this is going to create over 1,633 jobs over five years. That's music to my ears."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the groundbreaking for Plug Power's newest manufacturing facility, located at the Vista Technology Campus in Slingerlands, Albany County. The company has committed to creating 1,633 new jobs at its latest Capital Region location, complementing New York State's push toward clean, renewable and sustainable energy. The new location supports the company's efforts to significantly expand its line of GenDrive fuel cell systems, which are used to power electric motors in the electric mobility market.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Thank you, Andy and, yeah, real women like to hang around construction vehicles. I love this stuff. I really do. I played a lot of Legos, I didn't play with too many dolls, I was mostly a Legos kind of kid. I love to build. We'll get to Andy and what I believe about this business and how it has really defined our energy future. So, to everyone at Plug Power, we welcome you.

I do want to recognize a few individuals here, starting with our county executive, Dan McCoy who you'll be hearing from in a couple of minutes. He's the kind of person when you're dealing on the front lines of a war with a pandemic against COVID, you were in the trenches with us. We went to countless sites, thanked the healthcare workers. We went into the mall to set up testing sites, vaccination sites. So, Dan McCoy, hope you get a little break now that we're getting a little bit of a break from COVID, but, thank you for your incredible leadership.

Also leadership in our Senate, Senator Neil Breslin, who has been such a tireless leader, a fighter for this area and a great friend of mine as well. Senator Breslin, thank you.

And I come out of local government, 14 years on a town board, so you've got to give a lot of love to your local officials. So, Supervisor of the Town of Bethlehem, David VanLuven and also Doug LaGrange Supervisor of New Scotland. So let's give them a round of applause as well.

And the woman who makes it all happen at ESD, Hope Knight, a rock star. We were happy to recruit her to our administration. I said, I'm going to search for the best and the brightest. You're looking at someone who's very talented, you're going to see her at many more of these occasions as the years unfold.

A lot of this is funded and supported by NYPA. I want to thank Justin Driscoll for his leadership at this time of transition and for all he has done to just put a spotlight on how incredibly fortunate we are to have the resource of the New York Power Authority able to fund projects like these.

George is here. Chairman of the Board. Thank you for being here.

Also, anybody from labor in the house? Men and women of labor. Thank you. You're the ones that are going to do the building. Unbelievable. Thank you so much.

You know, and I thought it was really significant that Andy had the foresight to talk about our energy independence or lack thereof, let me say. This comes from someone who got her driver's license when we had the OPEC oil embargo and you could only get gasoline on alternating days of the week based on what your license - anybody old enough to remember that? Okay. There's a few, there's a few. Maybe you heard it from your grandparents, the good old days. I don't know, but it had a profound impact on me as a teenager growing up at a time when we really did feel that we were captive to foreign energy sources. We were literally brought to our knees. You could not buy gasoline when you wanted to at the pump and the prices were going to the roof, although in perspective it was a bargain compared to where we are today.

But we are always at the whim of geopolitical circumstances as we're experiencing right now with the unlawful invasion of another country by Russia and Putin is going into a place and our prayers are with individuals in that country who are literally fighting for their survival as we speak. And no one could have foreseen this a couple of months ago. There was talk, but you never really thought it would happen. My friends, it happened and all of us have to stand together against that aggression, but also to do what we can, our part to make sure that Russia understands there's consequences to what they did. We don't want to have Russian oil in this country when they continue that path of aggressive behavior toward their neighbors.

So, we have to send a message just like we did in New York a couple of weeks ago. I said, no more investments for divesting, no more business with any companies from Russia, it all shuts down right now. As well as being so willing to open up our hearts and our homes and our communities to the refugees. Literally upwards of millions now are having to flee that situation. It all comes down to how we can isolate, right, and weaning ourselves from their oil is an important part of that.

Companies like Plug Power, you couldn't have thought of this 25 years ago when you started thinking how we can innovate new technologies to bring clean energy sources, to our construction vehicles and forklifts and all the other ways that you've been so brilliant. But now you're realizing it does have a profound effect.

It allows us in the state of New York to meet our very ambitious climate goals, which are nation leading I'm proud of that. We're ambitious, but we will meet our objectives because in my opinion, we have no choice. This is not about what we're doing here on this rather chilly day. It's what's going to happen to our children and our children's children going forward.

That's the responsibility that's on our shoulders to make sure that we are stewards of the future. And part of that has to come into exploring and innovating and financially supporting alternative forms of energy. So that's why, when I said we're going to become a global leader, I meant it. I was thinking of places, companies like this, the expansion that we're seeing here today, as I saw in Monroe County, as I saw on a much warmer day at the STAMP plant in Genesee County just a few months ago. And I will be here in August when you get this done. So keep working everybody I'm coming back here in August.

I'm not coming back in the cold anymore, but let's gather on a nice warm day and celebrate what you've accomplished here, because it's about investments. It's about clean energy future. But I also love the fact it's about jobs. Any time we can create new jobs and these are good paying jobs, manufacturing, I love manufacturing. I've probably walked more manufacturing floors and factory floors than anybody in the history of the state. Because I love doing that. I love talking to the foreman and the workers and saying, what kind of skills do you need to work here? Can you train someone from high school? Do they need a certificate from a community college? What do you need? And we'll get that for you because you cannot be successful if you don't have the workforce ready to walk in your door every day and do the building with their hands, it's necessary.

So this is going to create over 1,633 jobs over five years. That's music to my ears. I love this, but it's all going to be about green hydrogen. And I mentioned this when we talked at the STAMP plant a few months ago. I don't know if you all understand what this is all about. I mean, this technology is brilliant.

That facility is being powered by hydroelectric power. Think about that clean energy. And what we're doing is creating hydrogen cells that can be used in construction vehicles. They're literally powering the forklifts that are in all of our fulfillment centers, Amazon fulfillment centers. Right? I didn't make that up, right? I remember that. Do I remember that from October? I hope I'm right.

But I remember saying who thought about Amazon fulfillment centers until there was a pandemic and you're waiting for that delivery to come to your door, so you had toilet paper and paper towels, right? I mean, remember those days, it wasn't that long ago. But you are part of the innovation behind that to make sure those services that directly affect us as people are still there, but in a way that uses the clean energy of the future. That's the difference. And that's what you've done here today.

So I'm so proud of that. We're going to have a 350,000 square foot expansion right here. It's your Vista's Technology campus. It is $55 million. And we've committed $45 million in Excelsior tax credits. Again, those are based on the jobs you create. So you got to create the jobs, Andy. Okay. Got to create the jobs. I'm going to ask you in a couple of years, you got to make sure.

Hope we might need a little more. Okay. But what you've done has just made us so proud, proud to have the fact that you were born in our state. That you've expanded in our state.

And I know you have other opportunities and those other states are always coming after companies like yours, but they have got to get through me first, because you're a New York company. Okay. So let's always make sure that you're part of our future.

I want to thank everybody who is part of this. This is one of the best parts of my job. I love coming out here. I love see what really smart, dedicated, innovative people have accomplished and how, what you're doing here, creating jobs and opportunities also leads to a much brighter, greener future. So thank you. Thank you very much.

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