Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the New York Power Authority board of trustees approved economic development awards to three companies that will create 79 new jobs and spur nearly $46 million in capital investments. The NYPA board awarded two Erie County businesses with low-cost hydropower allocations – generated at NYPA's Niagara Power Project in Lewiston – and one St. Lawrence County business with funding through the Northern New York Power Proceeds program.
"These awards will spur nearly $46 million in capital investments and create dozens of good-paying jobs in Western New York and the North Country, all while advancing the aggressive goals of our nation-leading climate agenda," Hochul said. "By providing businesses with the support and resources they need to thrive, we are revitalizing local communities and helping to secure a cleaner, more prosperous future for New Yorkers."
LW1 Operator, a cannabis production company, was awarded 2,930 kilowatts (kW) of low-cost hydroelectric power by the NYPA board. LW1 plans to invest at least $24.2 million to develop a 75,000-square-foot cannabis production facility in Buffalo that will create 75 jobs. The project will include activities related to cannabis manufacturing, cultivation, packaging and distribution.
NYPA's board also approved a 400-kW low-cost hydropower allocation to Niagara Refining in Erie County. The company is a manufacturer of tungsten raw materials, which are commonly used in alloys to create high-density items such as turbine blades, heat sinks, and x-ray tubes. Niagara Refining is planning a multifaceted expansion at its Depew facility that includes the installation of several critical systems. The expansion project will involve a capital investment of at least $8.3 million.
John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman and Buffalo resident, said, "The Power Authority's economic development awards provide benefits that are important for the growth and success of New York businesses. The low-cost Niagara hydropower allocations to LW1 and Niagara Refining will create nearly 80 jobs in Western New York, building upon the tens of thousands of jobs directly supported by the Niagara Power Project."
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.
The NYPA board also awarded $300,000 from the Northern New York Power Proceeds program to Woodcrest RNG of Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County. Woodcrest will use the funds to construct a waste-to-energy management solution by collecting manure from three local dairy farms and transporting it through a pipeline to an adjacent Lisbon farm, where it will be processed into biogas using anaerobic digesters.
The Northern New York Power Proceeds program is made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated through NYPA's St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project. The Northern New York Power Proceeds Act, passed in December 2014, allows for NYPA to deposit the net earnings from the market sale of unutilized electricity into a fund, which can then be used to support economic development projects in St. Lawrence County.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov or follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.