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NYPA Trustees Approve Low-Cost Hydropower for Expansion by Cheektowaga Manufacturer and 18 New Jobs

Michael Saltzman

March 27, 2007


ALBANYóThe New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved an allocation of low-cost Niagara hydropower to Cameron Compression Systems for a $7 million expansion of their Cheektowaga manufacturing facility, and the addition of 18 new jobs to a current work force of about 500.

The low-cost power is expected to help persuade Cameron, a global provider of gas and air compressors for the steel industry and various businesses, to undertake an expansion in Western New York instead of at another manufacturing facility, in Texas. The plans include constructing a new 13,500-square-foot building, for manufacturing and office personnel, and investing in new equipment, including lathes, mills, a crane and testing machinery for the existing facility. The new building will be used as a repair center, and will include various energy-efficient features.

Cameron will receive 350 kilowatts (kw) from a block of power called Replacement Power. Together with another large block of Niagara power known as Expansion Power, the two are linked to about 43,000 Western New York jobs, and account for close to a third of the Niagara Power Projectís total generating output.

The Western New York Advisory Group (WNAG), consisting of NYPA, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp., the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, and the Niagara County Department of Economic Development, supported the latest Niagara allocation. The WNAG was established in 2003 to enhance the process for allocating the low-cost hydropower to qualified companies to spur the regionís economy. The coordinated effort since then has led to allocation by the Power Authority of about 100 megawatts (one megawatt equals 1,000 kw) to approximately 70 companies.

The allocation to Cameron is the first since the March 15 decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a new 50-year operating license for the 2,400-megawatt generating facility, following a multiyear relicensing process involving key stakeholders. The relicensing came only a few months after completion of a nearly $300 million, 15-year program to upgrade the project.

 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 nationís 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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