Niagara Falls Metals Recycling Plant Receives Allocation Of Low-Cost Hydropower: Project to Redevelop a Brownfield Site and Create 45 Jobs

Michael Saltzman

May 24, 2011


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees today approved an allocation of low-cost hydropower in support of a project to redevelop an abandoned commercial brownfield site and bring a metals recycling facility—and 45 new jobs—to Niagara Falls. 

The allocation of 2,500 kilowatt (kW) is being offered to Falls Metal Recycling, which is planning to invest $14.6 million in a new facility on a 14-acre site, of which approximately half is a brownfield. The proposed project’s added benefit would be to make use of dormant industrial land for redevelopment and economic growth. 

“It’s no secret why the hydropower is such an effective means for catalyzing business investments, with the generating output provided at rates that are more than 50 percent less than current wholesale market prices,” said Michael J. Townsend, chairman of the NYPA Board of Trustees. “Low-cost hydropower can be a determining factor in the competitiveness of the recipients and their business plans, especially in industries with thin profit margins and volatile raw material costs.” 

“The allocation of low-cost hydropower to Falls Metal Recycling is the latest example of our efforts under Governor Cuomo to maximize the benefits of the Niagara Power Project for spurring economic development in Western New York,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “The Power Authority is committed to working with our state and local partners in efforts to jumpstart the state economy and revitalize our local communities.”

“We’re very excited that Falls Metal Recycling has expressed serious interest in relocating to an industrial area of Niagara Falls,” said Senator Mark Grisanti.  “Attracting the recycling plant   would serve to support our local goals for ‘green’ business development and further enhance the city’s prospects for additional growth.  I want to thank the Power Authority for the low-cost hydropower allocation and helping to make this new facility—and 45 new jobs—possible.”

“The availability of low-cost hydropower in the Niagara region provides us with a competitive edge in terms of attracting and retaining businesses and their employees,” said Assemblyman John D. Ceretto.  “Falls Metal Recycling should become a prime example of how the New York Power Authority can work together with local municipalities and private businesses to stimulate the revitalization of these historic industrial zones in the City of Niagara Falls, many of which currently sit as vacant reminders of a past generation.”

“The allocation of low-cost hydropower is great news for our efforts to bring about the construction of the new metals recycling facility and 45 new jobs,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.  “Not only will this facility provide new jobs accessible to the people in the neighborhood, it also will contribute to brownfield remediation, which is imperative to Niagara Falls’ economic growth.”

Falls Metal Recycling is planning to invest in the latest industry recycling technology, including a large shredder, costing roughly $5.5 million, and a metals separation system, for another $5 million. The raw materials, or feedstock, such as scrap cars, appliances and sheet metal, will be purchased locally and in Canada.  The recycled material from the industrial process will be sold in both national and international markets.

Falls Metal Recycling, a New York State entity formed in January, will be drawing from the local job pool to fill the 45 positions that include a diverse range of skill levels. The company will also partner with a local trucking business for obtaining the scrap metals and distributing the recycled materials from the Niagara Falls facility. That is expected to create an additional 15 jobs beyond those at the new facility, which could begin operating by year’s end.          

The hydropower allocation would be drawn from a block of power known as Expansion Power (EP), one of two large amounts of power reserved under New York State law for businesses within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara project’s transmission switchyard or for businesses in Chautauqua County.  The other block of power is called Replacement Power and together they account for approximately one-third of the Niagara project’s firm generating output.  

Falls Metal Recycling also has been working with the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, the City of Niagara Falls and Niagara County for additional support for the project.

Nearly 30,000 jobs in Western New York, with a combined annual payroll of more than $2 billion, are directly linked to NYPA’s Niagara hydropower allocations.  The recipients of the power include some of the Niagara Frontier’s largest employers, accounting for more than 70 percent of the manufacturing jobs in the region.

The Niagara project—the single largest source of electricity in New York State—is marking its 50th anniversary this year.  It first generated power in January 1961.

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. ■ Approximately 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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