VESTAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – A little more than a year after winning more than $63 million in the federal government’s Build Back Better challenge, New Energy New York is on the cusp of winning another large influx of capital.
New Energy New York is a coalition that seeking to create a lithium-ion battery ecosystem centered in Endicott. It’s spearheaded by Binghamton University and the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium and lead by BU Professor Stan Whittingham who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for inventing the lithium-ion battery.
Representatives from the coalition’s 16 members gave presentations today about the progress that’s been made over the past year. That includes the establishment of 16 programs, including a Battery Academy, the training of 650 individuals and the support of 25 battery startups. The goal is to be the national leader in battery research, manufacturing and distribution.
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger says that whether it’s powering electric vehicles or storing energy from solar panels and windmills, batteries will be essential to combating climate change.
“Batteries are crucial to moving away from a fossil fuel economy. With our state’s mandate for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewables by 2030, almost full transition to zero emission vehicles by 2035, and a carbon-neutral grid by 2040, batteries will be a large part of the solution,” said Stenger.
New Energy New York also updated attendees on two exciting opportunities that the colaition is vying for. It’s one of 16 finalists for up to $160 million for the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines competition. It’s preparing for a site visit in two weeks as part of the process and it’s applied for a Tech Hub designation from the federal Economic Development Administration to be the battery innovation hub for the U.S.
Whittingham invented the technology that powers cell phones, laptops, EV’s and large-scale battery storage. It’s long been his goal to see that technology be the catalyst for an economic rebirth in Greater Binghamton.
“New York is ready to go. I think this coalition is really ready to support that and charge ahead and hopefully become the energy storage hub of the nation,” said Whittingham.
Today’s speakers credited U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and his staff for assisting New Energy New York with the application process.
A headquarters for NENY is under construction on the Phoenix campus in Endicott and its first Executive Director is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.