PLATTSBURGH — A Montreal manufacturer of hybrid energy-storage systems will expand into Plattsburgh, creating 32 new jobs.
Clinton County legislators approved a deal Wednesday night that will rent space at Plattsburgh International Airport to Novacab.
The company plans to invest $1.5 million to establish, equip and outfit a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to produce hybrid thermal and electric energy storage units at the airport.
Novacab Founder and Chairman Stephane Bilodeau said the deal is an important milestone in the deployment of the company's innovative technologies in New York state and abroad.
"This achievement is the result of a huge endeavor done by our team with the help of many collaborators," Bilodeau said.
The county will receive $176,755 in rent from Novacab for lease of 30,740 square feet of a building on Connecticut Road at the airport.
Out of the rental income, the county will pay itself about $50,000 in property taxes.
"We are very happy to welcome them here," County Legislator Robert Hall (D-Area 10, City of Plattsburgh) said at Wednesday night's meeting.
"We wish them nothing but success," said Hall, who chairs the county's Airport Committee.
Legislators unanimously approved the five-year lease with Novacab.
The airport underwent a $38 million upgrade last year as part of a state program for upstate airports.
County Legislature Chairman Harry McManus said that landing Novacab is largely due to the upgrade.
"Our ability to lease this building would not have been possible without the grant and renovations," McManus said.
"This is something that we’ve been planning for a long time, and the revenue from the lease will help defray some of the airport costs.
"We’re very pleased to welcome Novacab, which will strengthen our manufacturing sector and economic-development efforts in Clinton County."
To support the project, Empire State Development has agreed to provide up to $225,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.
"Novacab's expansion reflects the state's strategic investments at Plattsburgh International Airport and builds on our economic-development efforts to attract new jobs and new businesses to the North Country," Empire State President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said in a statement.
New York Power Authority will provide 76 kilowatts of low-cost ReCharge NY power, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently awarded Novacab a competitively selected contract to develop and demonstrate new energy-storage technology that could be used with electric buses.
Bilodeau said the energy source was critical.
"Our gratitude and thanks to the Empire State Development team for participating together with NYSERDA and NYPA," he said.
"Their help was key in the decision to go forward, and Novacab will now have a footprint in Plattsburgh, with the support of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Clinton County and the Plattsburgh International Airport."
Novacab was founded in 2007 in Quebec and produces thermal energy-storage units primarily used in buildings and transportation, based on advanced research and development started in 1996.
In 2017, the company began to extend the deployment of the technologies to hybrid energy-storage systems, which generate electricity from heat and store it for future use.
In buildings, Novacab's technology stores energy during off-peak hours, when conditions are most favorable, and discharges that energy during peak usage times to lessen the burden on the power grid.
In transportation, Novacab's units allow commercial vehicles like long-haul trucks and tractor trailers to maintain electrical power for heating and cooling without the need to run the engine or a generator, which reduces fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions.
State Sen. Betty Little said the project is environment friendly.
"This is great news and another great example of New York state government and the Plattsburgh region’s continuing success in forging public-private partnerships that attract investment and create new job opportunities for our area," Little (R-Queensbury) said.
"The thermal storage technology will reduce pressure on the grid, help the environment and save money, making this announcement all the more exciting."
Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) said bringing Novacab is yet another successful effort to recruit Canadian companies to the region.
"Novacab’s decision to locate their new facility in Plattsburgh once again demonstrates the strength of our region’s economy through cross-border trade coupled with skilled good-paying jobs," he said.
"The North Country is dedicated to creating stable jobs in manufacturing, trade and energy production, which will not only create opportunities for future generations to remain in the region but will create a strong economy for the many hardworking families that call the North Country home."
The North Country Chamber of Commerce has been working with Novacab for the past two years in their role as marketing entity for the airport.
Chamber President Garry Douglas said the state's investment in the airport paid off.
"Novacab represents another Quebec-based manufacturer using the North Country to grow in the U.S. market," he said.
"It represents another advance in the continuing development of Plattsburgh International as an active, job creating industrial site. It represents the attraction of a green energy technology company to New York, and it represents our area's continued productive partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in building our international manufacturing base."
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