The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute is installing a state-of-the-art Cryo-Electron Microscope at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
"This microscope will be a game-changer, accelerating research on medical therapies and essentially shrinking the time research would take from years to months," state Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, said.
But the microscope needs lots of electricity to power it. That's where Buffalo-based renewable energy company Viridi Parente came in, creating and manufacturing a first-of-its kind lithium storage device to provide the needed energy.
"The microscope is almost a demonstration project for that technology. You will see energy storage, distributed storage, in every walk of life," Viridi Parente CEO John Williams said.
Williams has big plans for the technology.
"Today we generate power based on what we think people are going to use, so we over-generate," he said. "We over-transmit and then whatever gets used is what the actual demand was. What distributed storage does is it allows the consumer to say this is what I need and this is the way I'm going to take it."
However, Williams said the energy device couldn't have even been installed without lawmakers quickly pushing the Department of State to issue a unique waiver for technology its codes hadn't anticipated. That's the kind of cooperation, he says is needed to make the new Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act successful.
"It's not enough to do something that sounds better," Williams said. "We have to do something that replaces a product today and performs better tomorrow so that consumers will accept it, companies will buy it and it will turn into an economic engine."
The CLCPA sets ambitious goals to make New York's electric grid carbon free by 2040 and the entire state carbon neutral by 2050. State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Todd Kaminsky said this sort of innovation will make it possible.
"We're seeing the future right before our eyes, right with these very products right next to us and I believe it is our job to pave the way for them to do what they can do and allow them to reach that full potential," he said.