BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI North Country This Week Story updated on Oct. 27 at 10:09 a.m. CANTON — A planned green hydrogen facility in Massena slated to cost $500 million to build has taken another step …
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
Story updated on Oct. 27 at 10:09 a.m.
CANTON — A planned green hydrogen facility in Massena slated to cost $500 million to build has taken another step forward, receiving approval from the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).
The new deal will assist Air Products and Chemicals as the company progresses closer to finalizing details to build the facility.
The PILOT was approved during an Oct. 24 IDA meeting.
According to IDA CEO Pat Kelly, the deal will start with a $95% tax abatement, which will decrease each year for the life of the PILOT, eventually hitting 5% in year 20.
According to Kelly, the PILOT will bring in what is estimated at $9,444,320.
By year 10, the property will produce “265 times what that property was generating” in local taxes, he said.
Deals have also been struck with the New York Power Authority and Village of Massena as well.
Air Products will purchase $30 million of power each year from NYPA, while also purchasing $300,000 of water from the village of Massena.
Air Products has also signed a deal with NYPA to purchase 94 megawatts of hydroelectric power annually as well.
Local officials say the facility, which will likely employ 90 full-time employees when it opens, could be a huge boost to the local economy.
Those jobs will have an average salary and benefit package worth around $90,000 each, Air Product officials have said.
Throughout its construction, which will likely take nearly three years, around 350 or so construction jobs will be created at its peak.
Air Product officials have said on multiple occasions they intend to hire local labor for as many of those roles as possible.
The facility is slated to open during fourth quarter 2026 or first quarter 2027, officials with Air Product have said.
Director of Governmental Relations Trip Oliver has said the company, which has been producing green and blue hydrogen alike for over 60 years, will produce hydrogen at the facility through electrolysis.
The facility will be one of the first in the U.S. to utilize this method to create hydrogen, Oliver previously said.
Green hydrogen is used for large scale equipment, including big rig trucks, trains, port equipment and other heavy machinery.
Oliver said it was Air Products’ belief that while electric vehicles may make sense for passenger vehicles, larger vehicles used to haul goods would be better suited to use hydrogen.
St. Lawrence County Legislature Chairman Jim Reagen, who also sits on the IDA board, said the facility could provide a resource that could be utilized by school districts for school buses.
Reagen said it was his hope that Air Products would advocate for the alternative fuel to be used in school buses, as opposed to electric options that have been presented in recent months.
Many school districts have voiced concerns about the cost to buy buses, the limited range they would have and the cost to upgrade or build bus garages to house and charge the vehicles.
Some schools have also said that the buses would not have enough charge to complete two runs to pick up and drop off students each day.