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Power Contracts from Relicensing Settlement Agreements Approved by NYPA Board for Governor's Consideration

Connie Cullen

May 22, 2007


LEWISTON—The Trustees of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Tuesday approved a total of nine low-cost hydropower contracts with local municipal entities and with the Tuscarora Nation and Niagara University, in connection with settlement agreements with those parties for the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project here. They also authorized forwarding the contracts to Governor Eliot Spitzer for his consideration.

“The NYPA board’s approval of these contracts for Governor Spitzer’s review is a significant milestone toward lowering the cost of electricity for local governments, school districts and other area stakeholders participating in the successful relicensing of the Niagara Power Project,” said NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr. “The low-cost power, and other significant benefits under the relicensing settlement agreements, will go a long way in helping these groups to manage their tight budgets for the key services they provide.” 

“These power contracts will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings on electricity costs in the Niagara region over the 50-year term of the Niagara project’s new operating license,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “They’re part of our wide-ranging commitments under the settlement agreements that promise to make real contributions to the quality of life in Western New York that go well beyond Niagara’s clean, low-cost power.”  

On March 15, FERC issued the Niagara project a new 50-year operating license, effective Sept. 1 following the Aug. 31 expiration of the current license. On Tuesday, the NYPA trustees authorized the acceptance of the new license (see separate news release). 

The nine hydro contracts, totaling 29 megawatts (mw), resulted from the settlement agreements. Seven contracts, for 25 mw, are with the municipal members of the Niagara Power Coalition, known as the Host Communities, which encompass the boundaries of the Niagara project. The two additional contracts, with the Tuscarora Nation and Niagara University, account for the remainder of the assigned power. 

The power contracts were the subject of a public hearing on May 7 at the Niagara Power Project Visitors Center. The contracts extend to September 1, 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. 

A recently completed upgrade of the Niagara project will help make possible the power being provided under the nine contracts.

 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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