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A Niagara Falls company that provides electroplating services was among three projects receiving economic development awards from the New York Power Authority.

The NYPA Board of Trustees approved a 16-megawatt (MW) allocation of low-cost Niagara hydropower to EnerPlate, a Niagara Falls-based company that provides electroplating services for use in the manufacturing of grid-scale battery systems.

The firm will invest more than $105 million to refurbish its recently purchased 90,000 square-foot facility and procurement of equipment for electroplating — a process that produces a metal coating on substrates, or base materials such as copper or tungsten, to improve properties like electrical conductivity. The enhanced materials are used by battery manufacturers specializing in energy storage from clean sources, such as solar and wind.

State officials say EnerPlate’s expansion will lead to the creation of 160 jobs in the Niagara Falls region.

In addition, the NYPA board approved a 50-MW low-cost Niagara hydropower allocation to Plug Power, located at the Genesee County’s Science, Technology & Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), to support the firm’s $387 million green hydrogen fuel production expansion project that will lead to the creation of 19 additional jobs at the location.

The firm is underway with its construction of the $290 million green hydrogen fuel production facility at the site that was announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2021. The expansion project will increase the capacity of the planned hydrogen production from an estimated 45 tons per day to 74 tons per day. The NYPA board also approved an additional 62 MW of High Load Factor power that NYPA will procure for Plug Power on the energy market.

The Power Authority supports Plug Power at three other locations: Slingerlands, which completed construction in January, Latham, and West Henrietta. In total, NYPA supports Plug Power with 272 MW of low-cost power, supporting more than 2,100 jobs throughout the state.

Both projects directly support the state’s transition to low and zero-carbon clean energy, advancing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050, and were considered by the Power Authority under the Green Jobs Evaluation Incentive Plan approved by the NYPA board in 2020. The plan allows for the consideration of green jobs impacts when evaluating applications for NYPA power.

The NYPA board also approved 320 kilowatts of low-cost St. Lawrence hydropower to CWT, which is building a new egg hatchery in Watertown. The firm will invest $16 million in the construction of a 47,000 square-foot hatchery to support an additional product line for baby chicks. The expansion project will help CWT serve its Canadian and northeastern U.S. customers and create 26 jobs in the North Country.

“New York’s growing clean energy infrastructure and local economic development go hand in hand,” Hochul said. “The items approved today by the NYPA Board of Trustees will create good-paying jobs and spark hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in communities in Western and Northern New York.”

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