CTO Tim Cortes Testifies in Congress

April 21, 2021

On March 17, 2021, Tim Cortes, Chief Technology Officer for Plug Power had the opportunity to testify before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee of Energy and Water Development. This was not Tim’s first time in front of Congress – he was honored to testify in front of a different committee about hydrogen and fuel cells in 2019. This time, his focus was domestic manufacturing for a clean energy future. As CTO, Tim is responsible for Plug Power’s long term technology strategy and vision. 

On the Benefits of a Hydrogen Economy

“In addition to decarbonizing entire sectors of the economy, it is estimated in the 2020 McKinsey report, “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy,” that by 2030 the U.S. hydrogen economy could generate $140 billion per year in revenue and support 700,000 jobs across the hydrogen value chain.”

On Leading the Green Hydrogen Economy with Jobs

“We are expanding our network and we have created jobs nationwide.  Last year, during the COVID pandemic, our company added 427 new jobs, a 49.7% increase from the previous year.  Importantly, we did not eliminate any positions during this time.  Today, we employ over 1,300 people across the country and have almost 200 open positions that must be filled immediately.  We also are honored to be a preferred employer for a 137-person veteran workforce. These green-collar jobs Plug Power provides, specifically on our service team, complement the training and discipline our employees learned while in the U.S. military.”

On Plug Power’s Innovation Center

“Plug Power will be opening its Innovation Center, this year, at our Rochester, NY location. This will mark a significant expansion, based on need and demand, in the production and manufacturing capabilities for fuel cells and electrolyzers. Plug Power will invest $125 million into the local economy, creating 375 jobs and bringing material and component suppliers to the region.”

On the Role of Congress in the Hydrogen Economy

“We are thankful to Congress for its past support for clean hydrogen, including maintaining robust appropriations for DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies program in recent years. In particular, funding through annual appropriations and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Plug Power developed hydrogen and fuel cell products from concept to commercialization. This has resulted in Plug Power installing over 40,000 fuel cell systems in 37 states. We are hopeful this Committee will continue its bipartisan commitment to providing leadership and robust funding to DOE to support early, mid and late-stage research and development and technology acceleration, including market transformation activities.”

Jobs and technology go hand-in-hand and Plug Power values the opportunity to provide insight into the public/private partnership needed to  accelerate the use of clean hydrogen to decarbonize the American economy and create millions of new domestic jobs in the process. We thank the  U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee of Energy and Water Development for asking us to testify. If you are interested in watching the event, it’s available online. Tim’s testimony starts about 22 minutes in.