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St. Lawrence-FDR Visitors Center Renamed to Honor Frank S. McCullough, Jr., NYPA Chairman

Christine Prichard

June 24, 2008


MASSENA—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday renamed the visitors center at the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project after NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr., who has served on the Authority board for more than a decade, coinciding with significant achievements for securing the future of the 800,000-kilowatt hydroelectric project.

“During the time that Frank McCullough has served on the NYPA board, the Power Authority received a new 50-year license for the St. Lawrence-FDR project, surpassed the halfway point in a multiyear upgrade of the project’s turbine generators, and reached an agreement in principle for Alcoa’s continued long-term receipt of low-cost hydropower,” said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Frank played an important part in these accomplishments, as a trustee, vice chairman and then chairman, and in the opening three years ago of the new visitors center. For these reasons, it is fitting the visitors center be named in his honor, as we mark 50 years of power generation at St. Lawrence-FDR.”

“I’m deeply grateful to my fellow trustees for this recognition,” Chairman McCullough said. “This is something I will always cherish having my name associated with this visitors center, whose entertaining and informative exhibits crystallize the vital role that our wonderful hydroelectric facility plays for Northern New York’s economy.”

Chairman McCullough is the longest currently serving NYPA board member. He has served since 1997 and was elected vice chairman in 2002 and chairman in 2006.

NYPA opened the visitors center at Hawkins Point in 2005 to replace one that had previously operated atop the Power Authority’s portion of the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, where the generating equipment for the St. Lawrence-FDR project is located. The original center was closed to the public in 2002 for security reasons following the September 11 attacks. It had hosted more than five million visitors from the time it opened in 1959, after the hydroelectric project began generating power.

The tribute to Chairman McCullough occurred at the Power Authority’s regularly scheduled board meeting following the rededication by the Authority and Ontario Power Generation of the International Friendship Monument at the Moses-Saunders Power Dam. The power dam, which spans the St. Lawrence River, is made up of two 16 turbine-generator sections operated independently by the two utilities.

The Frank S. McCullough, Jr. Hawkins Point Visitors Center and Boat Launch provides a panoramic view of the international power dam directly across the St. Lawrence River. In addition to explaining the operation of the hydroelectric project, the center features other exhibits on energy, including interactive displays that use computer technologies.

A focal point of the 14,000-square-foot building is a three-dimensional terrain map in the entrance lobby. It features lighting effects highlighting locations from Ogdensburg to Massena, described by an audio track activated by the push of a button. The map is a replica of one at the power project.

The Hawkins Point site also features a boat ramp and a handicapped-accessible fishing pier that the Power Authority built adjacent to the visitors center.

The visitors center is one of three that the Power Authority operates at its hydroelectric projects. The others are at the Niagara Power Project and the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project in the northern Catskills.

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 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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