N.Y. Power Authority CEO Announces Public Hearing on Proposed Power Contract for Major Project at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Hundreds of New Jobs

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 Authority has taken an important administrative step for securing low-cost power for a major new scientific user facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and several hundred new permanent jobs.

Earlier today, the NYPA Board of Trustees authorized a public hearing for Jan. 19 on a proposed power supply contract with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in which the Long Island electric service provider will resell 15 megawatts (mw) of NYPA hydropower to BNL.  The power, some of the lowest-cost electricity in the country, will be instrumental in helping BNL compete for new scientific missions and facilities. A major planned expansion at BNL, which will be enabled by this low-cost power allocation, is the construction of a high-intensity light beam project known as the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), which is scheduled to go into service in 2015.

Last February, Gov. David A. Paterson announced that the NYPA trustees had approved contract negotiations with LIPA for the allocation of hydropower to underpin the atomic-scale work at the NSLS-II facility, involving medical, energy and materials research. The light beams from the new facility will be 10,000 times brighter than BNL’s current synchrotron facility, which has reached the practical limits of machine performance and will be replaced.

“The scheduling of next month’s public hearing follows the negotiation of a sale-for-resale agreement by the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority for the distribution of low-cost power to Brookhaven,” said Kessel. “We’re delighted to be moving forward with this proposed contract, which is essential for keeping the new BNL light source facility on track for significant economic benefits for Long Island and New York State.  Governor Paterson has made clear the importance of this project, and the two Power Authorities have worked together to ensure that it has the necessary economical electricity.”

Kessel noted that the more-than $900 million NSLS-II project, now under construction, will result in up to 1,000 jobs during the building phase, in addition to the new permanent jobs once the facility is completed.  The project will contribute to the hundreds of millions of dollars a year that BNL—a U.S. Department of Energy facility (DOE)—injects into the state’s economy.  The laboratory has a permanent work force of more than 3,000 people.

“The Long Island Power Authority is pleased to be a partner in delivering 15 megawatts of low-cost hydropower to Brookhaven National Laboratory,” said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law.  “BNL is an extremely important component of the Long Island economy and serves as one of the premier science research facilities in the world.  By providing this low-cost energy to BNL, we are assisting them in furthering their scientific research capabilities, including the addition of the new National Synchrotron Light Source II project.”

"With an ever-increasing portfolio of key research facilities, Brookhaven National Laboratory is at the core of economic development on Long Island and plays an essential and growing role in shaping national energy policy,” said Steve Levy, county executive, Suffolk County.  “It is most fitting that New York State supports these critical activities with low-cost power through its economic development power programs."

Access to world-class facilities provided by synchrotron light sources is crucial to many scientists at state universities and research centers, including the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Other organizations using the existing BNL light source facility include Corning, General Electric Global Research Center in Niskayuna, and IBM Research Division in Yorktown Heights.

Fourteen megawatts of the hydropower allocation for BNL will come from NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena, with the remaining megawatt from NYPA’s Niagara Power Project in Lewiston. The allocation will not affect any other NYPA customer or upstate consumers.   
The allocation was a key factor in BNL’s successfully competing for DOE funding of the NSLS-II facility.  The hydropower will be blended with market-based energy purchases that NYPA currently makes on behalf of the laboratory, which has been receiving power from NYPA since 1982. 

The Jan. 19 hearing on the proposed NYPA-LIPA contract will be held at Brookhaven Town Hall Media Room at One Independence Hill in Farmingville, N.Y. The scheduled hearing times are 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Following the public comments, the proposed contract, which is available on the NYPA Web site (www.nypa.gov/publichearings),will be submitted to the NYPA trustees for their approval before being forwarded to the Governor for his authorization.    

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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