Company to build state-of-the-art emission-free facility at Niagara Falls plant, retain 86 jobs
√ State investment supports green energy program, which calls for $29 billion in green energy investments across state
Empire State Development (ESD) recently announced Linde, a leading global industrial gases and engineering company with 2020 sales of $27 billion, will build its first North American PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer plant in Niagara Falls. The $17.3 million project will include two parallel systems, to maximize daily production of green hydrogen.
Kevin Younis, chief operating officer and executive deputy commissioner at Empire State Development, said, “Linde’s production of green hydrogen generated by hydroelectric power at Niagara Falls will help the company invest in and deploy technology of the future and continue to upskill its Niagara County workforce. By providing an emission-free fuel that can be used for hard-to-electrify industrial and other power needs, Linde’s project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the state’s climate goals, as well as fulfill the WNYREDC’s focus on innovation and sustainability in its tradeable sector of advanced manufacturing.”
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 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 Hydroelectric Power Station when it starts production in 2023.
A press release said the electricity source makes this application truly green, as hydro-electric 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 $671,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program and also provided a Regional Council Capital Fund Grant of $250,000.
New York State Sen. Rob Ortt said, “As we strive to rebuild and restart our economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to retain 86 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 called Niagara Falls its home for many years. It is a great sign of growth and innovation for our city that the company has chosen Niagara Falls for this state-of-the-art facility. Niagara Falls has been at the center of green energy for over 150 years, and we are proud that Linde, one of our leading industrial employers, is building the first North American PEM plant in Niagara Falls. Thank you to Empire State Development for its efforts to bring this project to Niagara Falls.”
ESD is New York’s chief economic development agency. Its mission is to “promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies.” For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.