N.Y. Power Authority Trustees Approve 2013 Operating Budget Focused on Bolstering Generation and Transmission Infrastructure and Controlling Costs

Maura Balaban
(914) 390-8171

December 19, 2012


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees has approved an operating budget for 2013 that continues NYPA’s strong emphasis under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on capital investments in its statewide generation and transmission facilities—critical infrastructure receiving heightened attention following Hurricane Sandy to augment resiliency to extreme weather emergencies. While providing for significant improvements to make power plants and power lines more efficient and stronger, the new operating budget, limits discretionary spending, holding down administrative costs, in keeping with the Cuomo Administration’s focus on fiscal rigor and restraint.     

The 2013 Operating Budget, approved on Tuesday, sets forth NYPA’s expected revenues and expenses for next year.   In addition to setting aside resources for capital investments in equipment, the pending Operating Budget reflects the Governor’s goals for enhanced energy efficiency and use of clean energy technologies and for promoting economic development.

“The New York Power Authority’s 2013 Operating Budget recognizes the importance of a highly reliable electric power system that provides clean, economical power to help meet New York State’s growing energy needs, while giving priority to the careful and efficient use of financial resources to minimize administrative costs and overhead,” said John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman.  “Our focus under Governor Cuomo is to make the state’s overall electric power system stronger and more resilient and to advance energy efficiency, clean energy and economic development. These are all top priorities of the Governor and our new operating budget reflects this.”

“With the devastation downstate from Hurricane Sandy still very fresh in everyone’s minds, the critical role we play in safeguarding major components of the New York’s power system was a central focus for us in developing this budget. Our capital plan includes a major overhaul of NYPA’ s transmission system to further harden and strengthen it against extreme weather conditions,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “In addition to the significant investments in infrastructure, we are proud of the strategic use of resources in this budget, to create jobs and spur economic development, to help underpin Governor Cuomo’s goals for creating a clean energy economy for New York State.”

The 2013 Operating Budget, or plan, includes an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) budget of $367 million and Capital and Energy Efficiency budgets totaling $393 million.

Among the key O&M elements are more than $49 million for nonrecurring maintenance work at various NYPA facilities, $13 million for scheduled maintenance outages at the Authority’s clean natural gas-fueled generating facilities in New York City, and more than $40 million for upkeep of transmission facilities.

The Capital Budget, one of the other major components of the 2013 Operating Plan, accounts for $192.6 million—an increase of $25.6 million from the 2012 budget. Approximately 75 percent is for retrofits and other improvements to NYPA’s Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric plants near Niagara Falls and in Massena, and of its statewide transmission system.  The new Capital Budget allots $54 million for transmission improvements, including the start of a Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) Program, with the work extending to 2025.  NYPA’s decades-old transmission system accounts for approximately one-third of the state’s high-voltage power lines.    

Significant capital projects for 2013 include $49.9 million for a LEM program at the Niagara project’s Lewiston Pump Generating Plant; $4.8 million for the final phase of the St. Lawrence-FDR project LEM, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013; $16.6 million for breaker and relay replacement at Niagara and St. Lawrence-FDR; and $6 million in connection with commitments under the successful federal relicensing in 2003 of St. Lawrence-FDR, including ongoing recreational and environmental enhancements of public-use areas. The Capital Budget also includes $21 million for minor additions and general plant purchases.

NYPA’s Energy Efficiency Budget for 2013, to provide energy savings to schools, hospitals and other public buildings, is more than $200 million, and is expected to bring about thousands of private-sector design, construction and engineering jobs around the state.  NYPA typically recovers its costs of the retrofits and installations over several years after which the beneficiaries retain all of the savings.

The typical investments on new energy-saving equipment have included high-efficiency lighting; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems; electric motors; automated energy management systems; and more efficient boilers and chillers. Other clean energy technologies that NYPA has partnered on with public facilities in various parts of the state have ranged from

fuel cells to solar power photovoltaic installations to introducing electric vehicles in government automotive fleets. 

NYPA expects its 2012 investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies will eclipse $200 million, establishing a record for the fourth consecutive year for the Authority’s annual expenditures on these initiatives.     

The Energy Efficiency Program, which NYPA currently funds from the sale of commercial paper notes, is supportive of Governor Cuomo’s energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, which include quadrupling the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually in New York by 2013.  NYPA plans to finance over the next four years $800 million in cost-effective energy efficiency and clean energy projects for state and local government facilities.    

The Power Authority trustees on Tuesday also approved a four-year financial plan, for the period 2013 through 2016, with the 2013 Operating Budget as the first year of the plan, and preliminary forecasts of revenues and expenditures provided for the remaining three years.

The financial plan, which is being submitted to the Office of the New York State Comptroller as provided for under state regulations, is also available on the Power Authority website at

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.■It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information,

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