Empire State Development and Linde, a leading global industrial gas and engineering company, announced that the company will invest more in its Niagara Falls facility to start creating hydrogen fuel.

The new 35-MW Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzer plant, planned for Linde’s facility at 4501 Royal Ave., will be the largest such plant for Linde globally and double its green liquid hydrogen production capacity in the United States. It is planned to start production in 2025.

The plant will replace a proposal announced last year for producing hydrogen at the same site, which would have been 22-MW, cost $17 million, and start production in 2023. That included Empire State Development tax credits of up to $671,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program and a Regional Council Capital Fund Grant of $250,000.{span class=”Apple-converted-space”} {/span}

The plant will produce green hydrogen fuel using a process called electrolysis, where electric current is used to slip water into oxygen and hydrogen. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it can be used in cars, houses and portable power among other applications.

Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are a popular choice among climate advocates as a source of emissions-free energy because they work utilizing a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the air to generate clean electricity, with water and heat as byproducts.

While retaining 86 jobs currently at Linde’s facility, the hydrogen fuel operation is expected to create 11 new jobs. The hydrogen fuel created will be supplied to customers through the existing infrastructure.

ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said the planned production of emission-free green hydrogen fuel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help advance Gov. Kathy Hochul’s climate goals, which includes the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that calls for 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.

To facilitate Linde’s conversion to an emission-free hydrogen production facility, Empire State Development offered tax credits of up to $2 million through the Excelsior Jobs program.

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. The plant will be powered by electricity from the Robert Moses Niagara Power Station when it starts production.

Local lawmakers have touted this facility as a way to keep jobs in the region and to work towards a carbon neutral 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 the growing sector,” said State Assemblyman Angelo Morinello.

Linde’s Vice President of East Region Todd Lawson said they is the largest liquid hydrogen producer in the United States and this new capacity will increase product availability at a time of growing demand. The company also expects to build several other electrolyzers in the U.S. to meet that demand.

“We will continue investing in green hydrogen projects to help meet growing demand as well as contribute to a more sustainable energy economy,” Lawson said.

Representatives from Empire State Development and Linde could not be reached for further comment in time for this story’s publication.

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