The New York Power Authority board of trustees recently approved an allocation of low-cost hydropower to Pride Pak for an expansion project in Orleans County. The $18 million project will lead to the creation of 163 new jobs.
The allocation is made possible by an economic development program for allotments of power from NYPA's Niagara Power Project in return for job and capital investment commitments.
John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman, said, "These low-cost hydropower allocations from the Niagara Power Project demonstrate the Power Authority's commitment to invest in the people and businesses of New York state. This expansion project by Pride Pak is exciting news."
Pride Pak, based in Mississauga, Ontario, is currently Canada's largest fresh fruit and vegetable processor. It will expand to Medina and utilize 1,000 kilowatts of hydropower. The renovations at the new location are expected to be completed in January 2016.
"This hydropower allocation is a great development for the region," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "The action by the NYPA trustees will spur new jobs and generate an additional influx of capital into the Western New York economy."
Low-cost Niagara hydropower is currently priced more than 40 percent less than wholesale market electricity in the Buffalo-Niagara region and is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs. In addition, the capital investment by Pride Pak is expected to support additional construction jobs.
"As a small-business owner, I know the resources that are necessary to flourish in New York's economy," Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. "I am excited to see public-sector entities actively supporting private-sector businesses in my district. For the private-sector businesses to thrive, we need initiatives such as these that will create jobs and grow Western New York's economy."
"This proposed project is a great example of how low-cost hydropower can be used to help grow our local economy while meeting the demand for locally grown food," State Sen. Rob Ortt said. "Working with our partners across the border to deliver fresh, healthy food from a home base in Medina is a start to strengthening our region's and state's leading industry in hopes of one day distributing these local products around the world."