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NYPA: Low-cost hydropower award to create 160 jobs in Niagara Falls


Fri, May 26th 2023 01:10 pm

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced the New York Power Authority board of trustees approved economic development awards to three firms that will spur more than $508 million in capital investments and create 205 jobs. Included among the approved items are low-cost hydropower allocations to Plug Power, a New York-headquartered hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer, for further development of its Genesee County site. The NYPA board also approved low-cost hydropower allocations to facilitate an expansion in Niagara Falls for EnerPlate, an electroplating service provider for grid-scale battery systems, and CWT, a hatching eggs producer for the global poultry industry, expanding in Watertown.

"New York's growing clean energy infrastructure and local economic development go hand in hand," Hochul said. "The items approved today by the NYPA board of trustees will create good-paying jobs and spark hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in communities in Western and Northern New York."

The NYPA board of trustees approved a 16 MW allocation of low-cost Niagara hydropower to EnerPlate, a Niagara Falls-based company that provides electroplating services for use in the manufacturing of grid-scale battery systems. The firm will invest more than $105 million to refurbish its recently purchased 90,000-square-foot facility and procurement of equipment for electroplating – a process that produces a metal coating on substrates, or base materials such as copper or tungsten, to improve properties like electrical conductivity. The enhanced materials are used by battery manufacturers specializing in energy storage from clean sources, such as solar and wind. EnerPlate's expansion will lead to the creation of 160 jobs in the region.

The project directly support the state's transition to low and zero-carbon clean energy, advancing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050, and were considered by the Power Authority under the Green Jobs Evaluation Incentive Plan approved by the NYPA board in 2020. The plan allows for the consideration of green jobs impacts when evaluating applications for NYPA power.

New York Power Authority Chairman John R. Koelmel said, "By leveraging Niagara hydropower, the Power Authority is stimulating large-scale community investment and job growth in Western New York. Today's hydropower allocations to Plug Power and EnerPlate support firms on the cutting-edge of clean energy solutions, advancing the goals of the state's nation-leading climate and clean energy agenda.

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.

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.

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