New York Power Auhority logo




NYPA to Hold May 7 Public Hearing on Low-Cost Hydropower Contracts for Key Stakeholders in Niagara Project Relicensing

Michael Saltzman

March 27, 2007


ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday took an important procedural step for lowering the electric bills of local governments and school districts in Niagara County and other area stakeholders in the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project by authorizing a public hearing for May 7 on proposed contracts for the sale of power.

“The pending hearing on the power contracts with our relicensing partners is part of the process for carrying out our obligations under settlement agreements, which are expected to be secured by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval two weeks ago of a new 50-year operating license for this vital generating project,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The commission’s issuance of the new license will bring financial, environmental, recreational, and other benefits to Western New York, including low-cost power for key stakeholders.”

The NYPA board’s action Tuesday applies to six contracts for the sale of 13.5 megawatts (mw) of low-cost Niagara hydropower to the following entities: the City of Niagara Falls, 5.5 mw; the Town of Niagara, 0.5 mw; the City of Niagara Falls School District, 3.5 mw; the Niagara Wheatfield School District, 1.5 mw; the Lewiston-Porter School District, 1.5 mw; and the Tuscarora Nation, 1 mw. (A single megawatt corresponds with the electricity demand of up to 1,000 households.)

The contracts stem from separate settlement agreements reached in 2005 with the Niagara Power Coalition, representing the seven municipal entities encompassing the Niagara project’s boundaries (also known as the Host Communities), and the Tuscarora Nation, whose lands abut the Lewiston Reservoir, which is part of the project. Both agreements, which addressed non-licensing matters outside FERC jurisdiction, helped to build consensus for a new license, and a smooth transition when the current 50-year license expires on August 31.

Last month, the NYPA board authorized a public hearing on proposed contracts with Niagara County and the Town of Lewiston—two other members of the Niagara Power Coalition, for 9 mw and 3.5 mw, respectively. Those contracts will be considered at the same proceeding as the other six contracts, along with a proposed contract to provide 3 mw to Niagara University, in connection with another non-licensing settlement agreement, reached in 2006.

The proposed contracts with the various entities run to September 2025, the same as current Niagara contracts with municipal electric systems and rural cooperatives and other preference customers who receive allocations of power from the project under federal law. Successor contracts will be required to meet the terms of the settlement agreements for providing the power allocations for the full 50-year term of the new license.

The May 7 hearing will be held at 1 p.m. at the Niagara Project Visitors Center, at 5777 Lewiston Road, in Lewiston.

 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.

Return to Press Center