NYPA CEO Announces Extension of Low-Cost Power Supply Contracts with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

Michael Saltzman
(914) 390-8181

December 15, 2009


MELVILLE—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel Tuesday announced that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) will continue to receive low-cost hydropower for its light-rail system in Buffalo and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS). The military facility, one of the largest employers in Niagara County, benefits from the NYPA power through NFTA, which owns Niagara Falls International Airport, where the facility is located.  

Earlier today, the NYPA Trustees approved extension of the two allocations of hydropower to NFTA through 2014 and for successive five-year terms that follow. The transportation authority receives 1,000 kw for the MetroRail commuter system and 2,300 kw for the Air Force Base. 

“The continued sale of hydropower to NFTA recognizes the essential role that the transportation authority plays in providing public transit in Niagara and Erie Counties,” Kessel said. “Today’s action by the Power Authority Trustees also speaks of the importance of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as a major Western New York employer and of the significant contributions that the facility makes to national security.”

The military base is home to the 914th Airlift Wing of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the 107th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard.  The two units—plus other functions at the base—account for a total of approximately 3,000 military and civilian personnel.

The Power Authority has been providing NFTA with power for its light rail system since 1985.   A 1990 agreement between the parties, allowing for additional supply arrangements for other power needs, led to a 2004 agreement for the sale of power in support of the continued operation of NFARS. 

The low-cost hydropower, which provides hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in savings on a per megawatt basis, was a key factor in demonstrating the economic competitiveness of NFARS during a Base Realignment and Closure process conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2005.    

“I want to thank Governor Paterson, Richard Kessel and the NYPA Board of Trustees for ensuring the continued supply of low-cost power for the MetroRail commuter system and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station,” NFTA Chairman Henry Sloma said.  “The NFTA and the Power Authority have long partnered to benefit Western New Yorkers and these latest contract extensions are a continuation of that successful collaboration.”

The Power Authority is authorized by state law to provide power to NFTA. 

In another collaborative effort between the two Authorities, Kessel and Sloma announced in October the planned installation of an approximately $1 million solar photovoltaic system at the transit agency’s bus garage on Military Road in Buffalo.  NYPA awarded a contract for the work to a Buffalo-area firm, Solar Liberty of Williamsville, with the installation expected to be completed by next summer.

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority 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 public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.

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