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The New York Power Authority Niagara hydroelectric power plant. (Image courtesy of NYPA)
The New York Power Authority Niagara hydroelectric power plant. (Image courtesy of NYPA)

New York Power Authority's economic development awards to support 2,292 jobs across New York

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Wed, Mar 31st 2021 09:25 am

ReCharge NY, Niagara hydropower allocations & Western New York funding awards by NYPA board spur more than $580 million in private capital investments; awards include creation of 870 jobs statewide

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the New York Power Authority's board of trustees approved economic development awards to 23 entities that will support 2,292 jobs across the state – with 870 jobs newly created – and spur more than $580 million in private capital investments. Eighteen entities are receiving awards through ReCharge NY energy allocations, while the remaining five are receiving Niagara hydropower allocations and funding awards to enterprises in Western New York.

"These economic development awards will help us secure a promising and robust clean energy future for our state," Cuomo said. "Time and time again, by following the blueprint of our nation-leading climate agenda, we have proven that it is possible to invest in clean energy today and create jobs that will uplift our communities, while establishing a clean energy infrastructure that will benefit future generations of New Yorkers."

NYPA Chairman and Buffalo resident John R. Koelmel said, "NYPA is supporting some very exciting projects today with these economic development incentives – especially in Western New York – and I'm pleased that we are able to stand with New York businesses and communities as we attempt to turn the page from this crippling pandemic. NYPA hydropower and funding will lead to the creation of 870 jobs today by providing businesses critical financial relief and long-term security as they expand and grow right here in New York."

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "Today's economic development awards will help to energize the New York economy as we all move to safely rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. The low-cost power from NYPA's hydroelectric plants is the backbone to the state's economic development efforts and we are eager to leverage it to support businesses in need right now."

ReCharge NY Awards

The approved power allocations of nearly 11,900 kilowatts (kW) of low-cost power under the ReCharge NY program will be directed to 18 companies in the Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Western New York and on Long Island. The awards directly support nearly 2,100 jobs – 732 newly created – and more than $259 million in capital investments. A full list of ReCharge NY power allocations and economic development awards is available here.

Included among the awards is a 5,100-kW power allocation to Plug Power, a hydrogen fuel manufacturer, for its expansion project in Monroe County that will create nearly 380 jobs, announced by the governor in January.

ReCharge NY program has strengthened New York's economy by encouraging companies to retain and create jobs, while sparking capital investment throughout the state. ReCharge NY offers power contracts up to seven-years. Half of the power – 455 megawatts (MW) – is from NYPA's Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric power plants. The remaining 455 MW is lower-cost power bought by NYPA on the wholesale market.

Niagara Hydropower Allocations

The NYPA board approved three 10-year hydropower allocations from the Niagara Power Project to Western New York businesses:

Amcor Rigid Packaging USA, a global manufacturer of packaging products across the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and household markets industries, will receive a 1,750-kW hydropower allocation for the investment of nearly $19 million in a new production facility in Cheektowaga. The project will lead to the creation of 24 jobs.

The NYPA board also approved a 10,000-kW hydropower allocation to Plug Power for its expansion project at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama. Plug Power will be investing $290 million on the construction of a hydrogen fuel production facility and a 450-megawatt electric substation to serve the complex. The NYPA board also approved $1.5 million in funding for the project from the Western New York Power Proceeds program.

Plug Power has committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily. Last month, the governor recommended the NYPA board consider support for the project.

The NYPA board approved a 400-kW hydropower allocation to Pine Pharmaceuticals for the expansion of its manufacturing plant in the Town of Tonawanda. The drug outsourcing company – which moved to the 25,000-square-foot building in the Riverview Solar Technology Park in May 2018 – will be investing $8.6 million to triple the size of the facility and create 40 new jobs and retain its 94 existing jobs. The governor announced the expansion project earlier this year.

Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of the Power Authority's Niagara Power Project or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region.

Western New York Power Proceeds Awards

The NYPA board approved three funding awards to enterprises through the Western New York Power Proceeds program (including the $1.5 million award to Plug Power for its expansion in the Town of Alabama noted above).

Eastman Machine Co. received $170,000 to add 7,400 square-feet to its building in Buffalo that will accommodate new warehouse space, an entrance lobby with a mezzanine and a second loading dock to increase efficiency. The project will also add much-needed office space and expand the company's engineering and technical services, accelerating lead and delivery times and increasing competitiveness. The $1.6 million expansion will lead to the creation of six jobs.

The Center for Kashmir received $225,000 to establish a museum at a 100-year-old church in Niagara Falls. The museum will feature more than 600 original Kashmir paintings, etchings, drawings and artifacts valued at roughly $2 million, representing the largest collection available outside of Kashmir. The church requires a $1.36 million redesign and repurposing, including precise climate and lighting control and security to protect the valuable displays.

The NYPA funding award is made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated at NYPA's Niagara power plant and stems from power proceeds legislation signed into law by Cuomo in 2012.

Learn more on NYPA's economic development webpage.

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "I'd like to thank NYPA and congratulate Eastman Machine Co. on being awarded ReCharge NY funding for their expansion. As one of the oldest companies in Western NY at 125 years old, this investment and expansion will help make Eastman more efficient and help to increase their productivity now and into the future."

Assembly Member Angelo Morinello said, "I am extremely pleased that the power proceeds award will be used for a cultural purpose, which will add to the tourist experience in Niagara Falls."

Assembly Member Monica P. Wallace said, "This hydropower allocation will create dozens of jobs in Cheektowaga and help our community build back after over a year of economic hardship due to COVID-19. I thank NYPA for using its low-cost hydropower to entice new employers to invest in Western New York and to support current businesses and cultural centers in our community."

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