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Town of Massena Electric Department to Receive Additional Low-Cost Power for New Wood Pellet Manufacturing Facility and 23 New Jobs

Michael Saltzman

April 24, 2007


WHITE PLAINS—Plans for a wood pellet manufacturing facility at Massena Industrial Park and creation of 23 jobs got a significant boost Tuesday with an allocation of power by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees to the Massena Electric Department (MED), including low-cost hydropower. 

The NYPA board approved an allocation of 1,840 kilowatts (kw)—half of that hydropower—to the MED in anticipation of the increased electric load from the new manufacturing facility planned by Curran Renewable Energy, LLC. 

“This is precisely the kind of economic development we want to support for the areas served by municipal electric systems and rural cooperatives around the state,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “This low-cost power will help make Curran Renewable’s proposed wood-pellet manufacturing facility a reality, bringing new jobs and capital investment to Massena.” 

The Municipal Electric Utilities Association Executive Committee supported the allocation to the MED, which, as a partial-requirement customer of the Power Authority, has the option to purchase the non-hydropower half of the allocation from either NYPA or an alternate supplier. 

NYPA will provide the allotted power under its Industrial Economic Development Power (IEDP) Program, which reserves 108,000 kw for economic development for the state’s 51 munis and coops. The hydropower portion, considered among the lowest cost electricity in the country, is from the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project and is part of the large share of the facility’s output mandated by federal law for the public power systems, and provided for under contracts through 2025. With Tuesday’s action, a total of 40,480 kw have been assigned under the IEDP program, which is one of nine lower-cost power programs administered by NYPA that together help to protect some 476,000 jobs across the state.

“The additional low-cost power for the Massena Electric system is another key element in the coordinated efforts to support Curran Renewable’s plans for the new wood-pellet manufacturing facility,” said State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo. “The action by the NYPA trustees further demonstrates the determination of local and state governments to work with businesses to encourage economic development in Northern New York. I want to thank Gov. Elliot Spitzer and the Power Authority for their continued support in this regard.”  

The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency earlier agreed to issue up to $11 million in industrial revenue bonds for the new manufacturing facility, to be located in two buildings Curran Renewable is planning to purchase in the industrial park. The company, which had considered locating in Canada, is planning $10 million in capital expenditures for the buildings, renovations and equipment.  

“All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place for this new manufacturing facility, with the Power Authority board’s action the latest example,” said Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine. “The additional low-cost power for Massena Electric gives Curran Renewable the assurance it needs for making a significant contribution to our economy from this much anticipated facility.” 

The new facility, which could be in operation by year’s end, is expected to produce 100,000 tons of wood pellets annually for wood stoves and other heating sources, for a growing market in Northern New York. 

The pellets will be manufactured from wood provided by Seaway Timber Harvesting, a Massena company, on State Highway 37.  


 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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