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Niagara Project Relicensing Provides Tuscarora Nation with Scholarships, Power Allocation, Other Benefits

Jill Murman Payne

April 5, 2007


LEWISTON—Approval of a new 50-year federal license for the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project on March 15 will result in a variety of benefits for several Western New York communities, including the Tuscarora Nation, whose lands border the hydropower project’s eastern boundary.

These benefits include an annual scholarship program for Tuscarora students, an allocation of Niagara hydropower, an energy audit of Tuscarora facilities, conveyance of surplus land near Lewiston Reservoir, funding for special projects and support for a special exhibit at the Niagara Power Project Visitors Center (Power Vista).

“The ancient wisdom of caring for our natural resources for future generations has taken on added significance in light of today’s environmental concerns,” said Power Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Carey. “The Power Authority is committed to being a good steward of the state’s largest hydropower resources for the benefit of all its residents, particularly those in Western New York. We also look forward to a renewed relationship with our Tuscarora neighbors, one that will only grow stronger over the next 50 years.”

“The relicensing of NYPA’s Niagara Power Project has helped open up a new dialogue between the Tuscarora and the Power Authority,” said Neil Patterson, Jr., director of the Tuscarora Nation Environmental Program. “We now have several projects in the works that will provide new resources and opportunities for our citizens over the next half-century and beyond.”

Part of the Six Nations Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, the Tuscarora actively participated in the multi-year relicensing of the Niagara project.

As it has done with other relicensing stakeholders, the Power Authority worked with the Tuscarora to develop terms for the new Niagara project license along with a separate settlement agreement relating to non-license issues, not under the control or jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Both the license and the settlement agreement have been designed to enable Tuscarora citizens to realize cultural, economic and environmental benefits while enhancing their relationship with the Power Authority as it operates the state’s largest generating facility next door.

The Power Authority’s Niagara relicensing website ( provides details on benefits planned for the Tuscarora Nation and other Western New York stakeholders. The diverse package includes the following:

Starting this fall, two full-tuition scholarships will be offered each year to individuals of any age who are enrolled in the Tuscarora Nation and who have been accepted to a State University of New York institution. The deadline to apply for the 2007-2008 academic year is April 30; application forms and additional details are available on NYPA’s Niagara relicensing website.

One megawatt of low-cost Niagara hydropower will be sold to the Nation for use by Tuscarora customers.

NYPA will provide a one-time payment of $150,000 for a Haudenosaunee exhibit at the Power Vista that will describe the Tuscaroras’ cultural and spiritual relationship to the Niagara River.

A Tuscarora Nation Fund has been established that will provide $1 million per year for the 50-year term of the new Niagara project license. Additional monies will be available for special programs and events within the Tuscarora community.

 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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