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NYPA hydroelectric power allocation leads to New York jobs creation

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Hydroelectric power allotments announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will lead to more than 200 new jobs and US$190 million in capital investments.

Under a plan approved by NYPA earlier this month, five companies -- including Yahoo!, SiGNa Chemistry, Aurubis Buffalo, International Imaging Materials (IIMAK), and RubberForm Recycled Products will share nearly 13 MW-worth of power from the 2,525-MW Niagara hydroelectric project, allowing for expansion and job creation.

"Low-cost hydropower is one of the most effective development tools that we have to create jobs in New York," Cuomo said. "These are smart investments in the region's economy."

Included in NYPA's allotment are the following allocations:

  • Yahoo! Will receive 7.2 MW for a customer call center near Lockport that will create a minimum of 100 jobs. The company's Lockport data center will also add 15 new positions to its current workforce.
  • SiGNa Chemistry will receive 2.5 MW to establish a new manufacturing facility in Wheatfield that will initially create up 50 new jobs. The plant will also have the potential for future expansion.
  • Aurubis Buffalo will receive 2.8 MW to increase production at its Buffalo-based copper and brass rolling mill, creating 35 new jobs.
  • IIMAK will receive 200 kW for an equipment expansion at the company's Amherst manufacturing plant.
  • RubberForm Recycled Products will receive 200 kW for its Lockport facility, allowing for the expansion of its recycled materials production line.

"Governor Cuomo and his administration have spared no effort in spurring job growth in Western New York and the expansion of businesses through the strategic use of state resources," said John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman. "Low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant has been an important part of the equation. The anticipated expansions are great news for Western New York."

NYPA said the allocations will be provided under seven-year contracts, with the allocations drawn from two blocks of Niagara electricity known as "Expansion Power and Replacement Power".

Under state law, allocations of power to western New York businesses from the Niagara plant are for firms within a 30-mile radius of the hydroelectric facility, or in nearby Chautauqua County, at a price that is currently more than 40% lower than wholesale market electricity in the region.

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