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Joint Statement by NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr., and President & CEO Timothy S. Carey on Approval of New Federal Operating License for Niagara Power Project

Michael Saltzman

Connie Cullen

March 15, 2007


The approval Thursday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of a new 50-year operating license for the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project is a major milestone for New York State’s electric power system and for the Niagara Frontier. It assures the continued operation of a crucial generating facility, whose low-cost electricity is directly linked to 43,000 jobs at Western New York businesses and serves as the Empire State’s single largest source of emission-free, renewable power.

Coming more than five months before the project’s current license expires, on August 31, FERC’s action is testament to the extensive and thorough work that went into the relicensing  process, involving the substantial input of various interested parties over a multiyear period.

The use of an open and publicly inclusive process enabled NYPA to build significant consensus for the project’s relicensing and led to various agreements with federal and state resource agencies, Western New York municipalities, the Tuscarora Nation and other area stakeholders. These agreements included non-licensing settlements, outside FERC’s jurisdiction, for funding and low-cost power that will assure substantial financial benefits for local governments and school districts and other key stakeholders and the services they provide over the term of the new license.

The Power Authority has long been committed to contributing to the quality of life in Western New York through efforts extending beyond the supply of low-cost hydropower. The licensing and non-licensing agreements reflect our recognition of this obligation, while preserving our ability to continue to provide the electricity to area businesses at prices far below market rates. We’ve succeeded in striking the right balance for both endeavors.

Today’s decision on the Niagara project marks a new chapter for an outstanding generating facility that provides clean, carbon-free electricity amounting to about 10 percent of New York State’s total generating output. Western New Yorkers and all of the state have reason to be grateful for today’s action.

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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