Plug Power CEO committed to Capital Region despite Rochester expansion

COLONIE – Plug Power says it’s not going anywhere.

Although the Latham fuel cell maker is building a new $125 million manufacturing facility outside Rochester that will be the largest of its kind in the world with 377 workers eventually, CEO Andy Marsh told the Times Union that the Capital Region remains Plug Power’s home and headquarters – and will continue to be so in the future.

In fact, Marsh says Plug Power has added 200 employees in the Capital Region over the past 12 months, bringing the local workforce to 579 people.

“I’m hiring a lot of people now in the Albany area,” Marsh said. “This is my home.”

Plug Power’s Rochester plans, which were revealed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday as part of a series of announcements on growing the renewable energy economy, are an outgrowth of Plug Power’s 2018 acquisition of American Fuel Cell in Rochester. The state is giving Plug Power $13 million in tax credits for the facility, which will be based in the town of Henrietta.

American Fuel Cell is a spin-off of General Motors’s former fuel cell operations, and Plug Power had always planned to expand that operation, which led to Tuesday’s announcement about the new factory. The facility will help Plug Power expand into the on-road vehicle market. Plug Power currently supplies mostly fork lift trucks used in warehouses by Amazon and others.

Plug Power itself was a spin-off from General Electric Co. back in the 1990s.

And while Plug Power may not have earned a profit yet, that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t been successful. In fact, Plug Power’s market capitalization (the market value of its stock)  is $30 billion – making it one of the most valuable companies ever to come out of the area.

As a comparison, GE, which also has its roots in the Capital Region, has a market cap of $99 billion.

Marsh also said that Plug Power is expanding its Capital Region operations and will be securing new or additional space soon for its Latham headquarters manufacturing operations. The company is currently located on Albany Shaker Road near the airport and has a second facility in Clifton Park. It has 1,300 employees worldwide.