Low-Cost Hydropower Allocations Provide Incentives for Two Job-Producing Expansions in Western New York

Connie Cullen
(914) 390-8196

July 31, 2012


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees today approved allocations of low-cost hydropower as incentives to support potential capital expansion plans of two companies, involving the private investment of over $38 million and the creation of 50 jobs in Western New York.

Graphic Controls Acquisition Corporation of Buffalo and Blackrock Inc., headquartered in New York City, were awarded allocations of 130 kilowatts (kW) and 2,000 kW, respectively as incentives to expanding their operations in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

“The cost of energy for these proposed facilities is crucial to the decisions by these New York companies to locate their new operations,” said John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman and Erie County resident. “These allocations of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project demonstrate how the Power Authority’s resources can best be used to support private investment in the regional economy, to protect and create employment opportunities for Western New Yorkers and to advance Governor Cuomo’s ambitious economic revitalization plans throughout this area and the state.”

“Energy costs are a key factor in determining the competitive success of Western New York’s industrial enterprises, particularly those that are energy intensive,” said Terrance P. Flynn, NYPA trustee and another resident of Erie County.  “The allocations to Blackrock and Graphic Controls for a new data center and an expanded product line highlight the value of low-cost Niagara hydropower for spurring capital investments and job creation in our area of the state.”

“The latest allocations of low-cost Niagara hydropower will support efforts led by Governor Cuomo to improve and diversify the economy of Western New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “We expect the hydropower will make the pivotal difference in the decisions by the two companies to choose Western New York for their capital investment plans and employment additions.”

Blackrock, an independent investment management firm that provides a range of investment and risk management services to companies all over the world, is considering constructing a $37.5 million state-of-the-art data center in either the Buffalo-Niagara area or at a number of locations in southern Canada or Pennsylvania. The project, which would create 25 new, well-paying technical staff jobs, would serve as one of Blackrock’s primary communications and processing hubs for its global investment operations.

The initiative would require construction of a 50,000 square-foot facility, the purchase and installation of electrical, cooling and IT equipment, along with other physical plant and site development.

Since electricity costs are a significant portion of the cost of operating a data center, an allocation of low-cost hydropower is critical to Blackrock’s decision to move forward.

Graphic Controls Acquisition currently operates printing presses for casino slot-machine tickets and medical device charts, at its Buffalo facility. The company plans to build a new customized space for meeting cleanroom requirements for the manufacture of syringe filters for medical and pharmaceutical assembly machinery. 

The hydropower allocation to Graphic Controls, which has been considering an alternate site in Germany for the expansion, is intended to reinforce the company’s enhanced commitment to Western New York.  The expanded product line would lead to the creation of 25 new jobs at the company’s Buffalo facility along with protecting 265 existing positions.  

The allocations to Blackrock and Graphic Controls come from a block of hydropower known as Expansion Power (EP)—one of two large amounts of  Niagara power  that are set aside under New York State law for job-creating businesses on the Niagara Frontier. The power allocations will have seven-year terms and will support new equipment purchases and expansion plans by both companies.

In 2011, the NYPA trustees approved the allocation of more than 19,000 kW of Niagara hydropower to create 645 jobs at 14 new or existing Western New York businesses for their total employment of more than 9,000 workers and multimillion dollar capital investments. (One thousand kilowatts is enough electricity to meet the needs of 800 to 1,000 typical homes.)

The Niagara project, which is the single largest source of electricity in the state, is directly linked to approximately 32,000 jobs in the Buffalo-Niagara region. When multiplier effects are considered, the 2,441-megawatt project is linked to tens of thousands of additional jobs with other firms that conduct business with the power recipients, and billions of dollars in annual gross regional product.


Senator Timothy M. Kennedy of Erie County said: “Graphic Controls has been a pillar of our community for over 70 years, and we’re thrilled they want to renew their commitment to Western New York with this expansion project. The allocation from the New York Power Authority will protect hundreds of jobs in the Buffalo area, support the creation of new jobs and bolster our local economy. With our unique economic assets, like low-cost hydropower and a skilled workforce, business leaders are recognizing that Western New York is the right place to expand or relocate.”

Assemblymember Crystal D. People-Stokes of Buffalo said: “These allocations by the New York Power Authority are a wise and strategic use of Niagara power, which will attract projects that create jobs and encourage private investment to strengthen our economic base, right here in Buffalo.”

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,

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