New York Power Auhority logo




NYPA Trustees Approve Low-Cost Hydropower Allocations for New Ethanol Facility in Niagara Falls and 105 New Jobs

Connie Cullen

May 2, 2008


WHITE PLAINS—Low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project will buttress plans for a new ethanol production facility in Niagara Falls that include capital investment of $245 million and 105 new jobs.

The NYPA Board of Trustees Tuesday approved an allocation of 9,000 kilowatts of hydropower to Northern Ethanol, LLC, a Toronto-based company, that plans to purchase a 47th Street parcel in Niagara Falls from Praxair for construction of the new ethanol facility, as well as offices, a laboratory and a warehouse.

“We’re excited about helping to bring this ethanol plant to Niagara County and contributing to expanding the state’s renewable fuel production,” Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said. “Initiatives like this keep energy dollars in New York State by lessening dependence on foreign oil while curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The new facility also promises a sizable number of new jobs, a $7 million annual payroll and approximately $4 million a year of new business in connection with the services of local companies.”

Other benefits for the area economy include 500 construction jobs over a 20-month period, with a large number to be filled by Western New Yorkers, purchases of corn feedstock from local farmers for the production of ethanol, and additional tax revenues.  

The allocation for the Northern Ethanol facility would be drawn from a block of hydropower known as Replacement Power. It is one of two blocks of industrial power from the Niagara project that are linked to about 45,000 jobs and nearly $16 billion in annual gross regional product.

The Western New York Advisory Group (WNAG), consisting of the Power Authority, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp., the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and the Niagara County Center for Economic Development, supported the allocation to Northern Ethanol. The WNAG was established in 2003 to help identify qualified companies for available industrial power from the Niagara project.

The new Niagara Falls facility would produce 108 million gallons of ethanol per year, from 37 million bushels of corn, for use by vehicles in combination with gasoline. The new facility would also annually produce 400,000 tons of dry distiller grain, a livestock feed, which is a by-product of ethanol production.

The ethanol would be transported by rail, truck and ship to blenders in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of the Northeast.

Northern Ethanol has considered competing locations in Ontario and South Carolina for the new plant.

The company has applied for acceptance in the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program to obtain tax credits in return for environmental cleanup and redevelopment of the 70-acre parcel it plans to purchase. The program is administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

In recent years, the Power Authority trustees have approved Niagara hydropower allocations for new ethanol facilities in Erie and Orleans counties, linked to capital investment of $158 million and 115 new jobs.

   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