President Harvey Stenger, at the podium, is flanked by members of the New Energy New York coalition at the news conference held following President Joe Biden's announcement that the Binghamton University-led coalition's proposal was one of only 21 selected for American Rescue Act Build Back Better Challenge funding and will receive $63.7 million.
President Harvey Stenger, at the podium, is flanked by members of the New Energy New York coalition at the news conference held following President Joe Biden's announcement that the Binghamton University-led coalition's proposal was one of only 21 selected for American Rescue Act Build Back Better Challenge funding and will receive $63.7 million.
Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen

Binghamton University-led battery initiative wins $113 million to bolster domestic battery manufacturing

$63.7 million from Build Back Better Regional Challenge, $50 million from New York state.

September 12, 2022

Binghamton University’s New Energy New York project was awarded more than $113 million to establish a hub for battery technology innovation in upstate New York. The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced the region would receive $63.7 million; the State of New York will support the project with an additional $50 million.

“The New Energy New York team worked hard on this project and without the leadership and guidance from Sen. Schumer from the beginning, we don’t believe we’d be here today,” says Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “Distinguished Professor and Nobel Prize-winner Stan Whittingham and our Associate Vice President Per Stromhaug had an idea they believed was crucial to our nation’s energy security. They, along with their team and NENY coalition members, have carried the concept to this point where we can stand here today as winners of the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. With this win, and with the tremendous financial support from New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, we are confident we can turn the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of New York into the national hub for battery innovation, manufacturing, and workforce development.”

“I want to congratulate Binghamton University on securing this important funding through the Biden administration’s Build Back Better initiative,” Hochul says. “Combined with our multi-million-dollar state investment, this funding will help Binghamton University to establish this state-of-the-art facility, advancing critical research and bolstering my administration’s commitment to renewable energy, creating a cleaner, more resilient future for all New Yorkers.”

Binghamton University will develop a battery technology and manufacturing center in an Opportunity Zone in Endicott. Additional projects will support the battery industry and its supply chain. The entire initiative is expected to have a $2 billion economic impact.

“This will enable North America to develop batteries rather than sending our technology overseas,” says Whittingham, an inventor of the lithium-ion battery who helped lead the proposal’s development. “We can’t have a supply chain dominated by any one part of the world. We can have batteries that have ‘Made in America’ stamped on them. I’m excited to spearhead the prototype facility in Endicott. We’ve built a coalition with industry partners so we have plans already informed by companies’ needs.”

Per Stromhaug, associate vice president for innovation and economic development at Binghamton University, will serve as regional economic competitiveness officer overseeing this project. He noted the team consulted with more than 50 companies from every part of the battery supply chain in developing the proposal.

“Everyone we talked to has seen the importance of the project and been excited about being part of it,” Stromhaug says. “We are ready to have programs up and running quickly, with the Endicott pilot manufacturing facility open in a year or two. The program will be a magnet for the region and upstate New York, leading to high-paying jobs in development and manufacturing. It’s going to make an impact nationally.”

The project includes regional workforce development required to support the storage manufacturing ecosystem, with dedicated programs to promote equity and participation of individuals from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Olga Petrova, assistant director of Binghamton University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships, will serve as deputy regional economic competitiveness officer on the project.

“This funding from the EDA is a unique opportunity for comprehensive ecosystem building,” she says. “We will make a difference not only when it comes to technology development and manufacturing, but this will also benefit our region and its residents. We have already engaged community and local government and grassroots organizations in designing the projects. And we look forward to working with them to create jobs and workforce training programs, and to empowering our residents from various backgrounds to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

New Energy New York includes more than a dozen partners: academic institutions Binghamton University, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Broome Community College and SUNY Corning Community College; nonprofits New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST), Research Foundation for SUNY, Incubator Works, Southern Door Community Land Trust, AM&T and The Clean Fight NY; and government representation from New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (ESD NYSTAR) and Broome County.