Hundreds of jobs – and hundreds of thousands of dollars – are coming to Genesee County. In Batavia, the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) is getting ready for the first two occupants to bring more than 700 jobs to the region.
Most of those positions will be at the multimillion-dollar business Edwards Vacuum, according to Jim Krencik, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
“They are creating an operation that right now is not in North America,” he said. “This is a zero- to 600-job project.”
Don’t be fooled by the name – the company doesn’t design the kinds of vacuums used in a living room. Instead, it designs massive (or miniscule) equipment with a vacuum feature, which has applications in countless industries.
“They’re making the equipment that will go into the factory where they are making the microchip that powers everything from your smartphone to your smart fridge to your smart lawnmower,” he said.
The 1,250-acre mega-site will also be home to Plug Power. Plug is North America’s first-ever completely green hydrogen manufacturing facility. The biggest product from Plug is a hydrogen fuel cell stack. It’s essentially a giant high-tech battery that powers things like an Amazon delivery truck.
“Their first phase was 68 jobs, average salary was $75,000,” Krencik said. “The second phase is 19 more jobs, that’s 95 thousand dollars of salary and benefits. In a region like ours, that is a big boost.”
Plug’s completely green status is achieved thanks to the STAMP’s power source – hydroelectric energy. They are tapping into the massive amount of energy put off by Niagara Falls – something that has been done for years – and sending it to the STAMP in Batavia.
“Those are giant power lines that run from Niagara Falls,” Krencik said, pointing to some power poles at the site. “They run through Rochester, everybody that sees the ‘I Love New York’ sign at the Henrietta exit has seen them.”
To help prepare for the larger needs of the STAMP, National Grid just finished moving and upgrading two miles of transmission lines.
“We did so to free up 300 acres of land that can be now used to welcome new companies to the site,” National Grid spokesperson David Bertola said.
Plug and Edwards have already invested a combined $1 billion at STAMP. Bertola said that they and anyone else who sets up shop in the Batavia park will have access to some of the most reliable and affordable green energy in the nation.
“Any time that we can help an area like Genesee County grow and get ready for economic development — that’s why these types of investments are worthwhile,” Bertola said.
Krencik said that Plug Power will be up and running in 2024 or early 2025. Edwards is expected to break ground on its construction later this year.
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