New York extends hydropower agreements

New York will keep more than 100 of its top companies running on hydropower according to newly approved long-term contract extensions announced yesterday. The contract extensions were signed by the Governor with the aim of keeping jobs and capital in western New York.

Most of the contracts were extended through 2020 and contain increased job creation requirements that hydropower recipients must meet in order to keep getting power. Some of the companies currently receiving their power through this hydropower arrangement with the state are Praxair, 3M, DuPont, General Mills, and Ford Motor Company.

Under the contract extensions, the businesses receiving hydropower, including those in such major industries as automotive, chemicals, metals, printing and food-processing, each must meet an agreed-upon “base employment level.” In addition, recipients must also undertake capital investments at their Western New York facilities receiving the hydropower which collectively will total approximately $150 million a year over the term of the extensions. The state hopes that by extending the contracts, they’ll create more security in the local market and that will result in increased capital investment by these companies.

Power is provided by NYPA’s Niagara Power Project under two power programs, known as Replacement Power (RP) and Expansion Power (EP). The hydropower is provided at rates that are more than 50 percent less than current wholesale market prices in the State.

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