BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Binghamton University recently to congratulate the school for a major federal award to establish a lithium ion battery manufacturing ecosystem in our area.

Earlier this month, BU was one of only 21 applications that was selected to receive federal funding through the Build Back Better challenge.

Over $63 million was announced for the creation of New Energy New York, a coalition of academic, non-profit and government leaders headquartered at and led by Binghamton University to develop a global hub of energy storage manufacturing.

Gillibrand visited BU President Harvey Stenger and Nobel Laureate Stan Whittingham to offer her congratulations.

On the day of the award, New York State announced it would provide an additional $50 million to the effort.

Gillibrand said, “Lithium ion batteries are integral to the electric vehicle production, and are components in every day products like smart watches, and cell phones, and laptops. But this energy storage technology could also play an important role in developing a more sustainable energy future and actually strengthening our nation’s power grid.”

According to Stenger, 9 out of the 10 largest lithium battery companies are outside of the United States.

Out of the 21 applications that were selected for the regional challenge, Binghamton University received the 4th largest amount of funding.