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New York Power Authority Trustees Approve Low-cost Hydropower Allocations for Three Western N.Y. Companies and 213 New Jobs

Michael Saltzman

June 27, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees Tuesday approved new allocations of low-cost hydropower for three Western New York companies undertaking major capital investments that will lead to 213 new jobs for the region.  

The latest allocations of power from the Niagara Power Project include Hydro-Air Components, for construction of a new $8.3 million manufacturing facility in south Buffalo and the addition of 150 new jobs to an existing work force of 114. The other two allocations, for 63 new jobs, went to Airgas Carbonic for new facilities in the Town of Shelby, Orleans County, that will process carbon dioxide (CO2) from an ethanol plant, for beverage industries and other industrial purposes; and P&G Steel Products, for expansion of its specialty metals business in Cheektowaga, Erie County. 

“These allocations underscore the Power Authority’s continuing efforts under Governor Pataki for maximizing the economic development potential of available Niagara power for creating jobs in Western New York,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The Governor recognizes the major difference low-cost power can make, particularly for energy-intensive manufacturers whose electricity bills often represent a significant share of their production costs. It’s a proven economic development tool, and one we’re employing to the maximum extent possible under the Governor’s direction, with our Niagara allocations directly linked to more than 43,000 jobs in the region.” 

Hydro-Air, which has outgrown its facilities in the Town of Hamburg, will receive a 250-kilowatt allocation from a large block of Niagara industrial power called replacement power, at a new 152,700-square-foot facility in south Buffalo. The low-cost power is in addition to other economic incentives spearheaded by Governor Pataki for keeping Hydro-Air, a manufacturer of heat-transfer equipment, in Western New York. 

The NYPA trustees approved a 1,000-kw allocation for Airgas Carbonic from a second block of Niagara industrial power called expansion power. The company is investing more than $11 million for the construction of a 12,000-square foot, CO2 processing building, as well as a 15,000-square-foot, dry-ice manufacturing building. The complex, which will employ 35 people, will harness CO2 by-product from an ethanol plant that Western New York Energy is building in Shelby, to convert millions of bushels of corn for production of the automotive fuel additive. (In June 2005, the NYPA trustees approved a hydropower allocation for that facility.) 

The third company assigned a hydropower allocation Tuesday—P&G Steel Products—is investing more than $1 million in new equipment to add 28 new jobs for its Cheektowaga operations, where 60 people now work. The company, which will receive 250 kw of expansion power, makes specialty metal products for cars and trucks and other industries.  

Replacement power and expansion power together account for 695,000 kw, or more than one-quarter of the Niagara Project’s net dependable capacity of 2,400,000 kw. 

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of NYPA, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp., the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and Niagara County, recommended the latest allocations, in accordance with a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for allocations of available Niagara power on a continuous basis.

About NYPA:

■    NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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