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Low-Cost Hydropower Allocations For Two Western New York Companies to Support 32 New Jobs

Connie Cullen

December 19, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved low-cost hydropower allocations, totaling 2,100 kilowatts (kw), for two manufacturers in Niagara and Orleans counties in support of plans to add 32 new jobs and capital investments of over $11 million.  

The allocations, from NYPA’s Niagara Power Project, are slated for Saint-Gobain Ceramics and Plastics, Inc., in Niagara Falls, and EPCO Carbondioxide Products Inc., in Medina, and were recommended by the Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of NYPA, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp., the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and Niagara County.

The allocation to Saint-Gobain Ceramics would be related to its investment of several million dollars for additional capacity to manufacture existing and new products including the purchase and installation of new equipment.  In return for the allocation of 1,100 kw, the company would create 12 jobs and maintain 57 existing jobs.

The hydropower would come from a 445,000-kw block of Niagara power called replacement power.  Saint-Gobain Ceramics is also receiving support from Niagara County with training grants.  This investment is crucial to the future of this operation since it advances the production technologies used which will increase its competitiveness in worldwide markets and prevent the transfer of production jobs to Saint-Gobain facilities in other parts of the world.

EPCO will install a new, 300 ton per-day liquid CO2 manufacturing plant which will include a new building and equipment, and involve an investment of $7 million.  The company will create 20 new jobs in return for an allocation of 1,000 kw of replacement power. 

Replacement power and expansion power, another block of Niagara hydropower reserved for economic development in Western New York, account for 695,000 kw, or more than one-quarter of the Niagara Project’s net dependable capacity of 2,400,000 kw. Nearly 44,000 jobs on the Niagara Frontier are linked to allocations from the project, reflecting more than 70 percent of the area’s manufacturing jobs. 

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.