State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
For Immediate Release: May 23, 2013
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES LOW-COST HYDROPOWER WILL SUPPORT THE CREATION OF 136 UPSTATE JOBS
Allocations to Support I-T, Manufacturing and Yogurt Businesses
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced three New York state firms were approved to receive nearly 6,000 kilowatts (kW) of low-cost hydropower in support of nearly $55 million in capital investments and the creation of 136 jobs.
“We need businesses to stay and prosper, which means utilizing every resource we have in the most strategic way to support the continued growth of New York State employers,” said Governor Cuomo. “Low-cost hydropower is a critical asset to anchoring businesses and generating job growth throughout the state.”
New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees recently approved awards to Advance 2000 of Williamsville, Niagara Refining of Depew, and Sunrise Farms of Chenango County.
“As a NYPA trustee and a resident of Western New York, I’m privileged to find myself in a position to seize opportunities to create jobs for the region’s economy,” John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman, said. “The Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant is a cornerstone of Western New York’s economy and today’s allocations to Advance 2000 and Niagara Refining perfectly demonstrate its importance.”
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the Power Authority has aggressively worked to create jobs throughout the state by allocating low-cost power to spur business expansion,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Energy costs are a decisive factor for businesses exploring expansion plans, so every effort NYPA can make toward alleviating a firm’s financial concerns is a proactive step in our economic development efforts.”
Advance 2000 was awarded a seven-year hydropower allocation of 2,900 kW as an incentive to expand its operations in Buffalo-Niagara region. The company has been operating more than 22 years, delivering information technology services to a variety of industries, including corporate health care and government agencies. The company is currently headquartered at its data center in Williamsville, but has plans to expand with its acquisition of a 74,000-square-foot manufacturing building in Amherst. The additional location is needed to handle increased demand for hosted voice and data services and cloud computing for a variety of new companies nationwide.
The firm will commit to create 67 positions at its new facility with a relatively high average wage and benefits. The company expressed confidence that if this expansion plan moves forward, more jobs would be created in subsequent years.
“Western New York’s claim to low-cost Niagara hydropower rightly provides unique opportunities for local companies grow and add jobs,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “This allocation allows Advance 2000 in Williamsville and other companies to concentrate resources in growing their business which directly benefits the local economy.”
“Support for local businesses is a critical building block for economic growth in our region," said Senator George D. Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. "I'm pleased that the Power Authority recognizes the importance of local businesses, especially those in Western New York. The awarding of these contracts will undoubtedly continue the growth of the economy and will support area jobs.”
“Advance 2000 is a mainstay business with substantial plans for its operations," said Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer. “A new long-term contract of low-cost hydropower from the Power Authority sends a positive signal about our region’s commitment to economic development and job creation. We’re pleased by this action by NYPA’s Board of Trustees.”
"Hydropower provides low-cost, clean, and reliable energy to Western New York and that is something that we in the community cherish," said Assemblyman Ray Walter. "It's high-tech companies, like Advance 2000, that are the future of our local economy; thanks to this allocation of hydropower, they will now have a better opportunity to compete in this tough economy."
Niagara Refining, was awarded a seven year hydropower allocation of 2,700 kW as an incentive for expanding its operations in the Buffalo-Niagara region. The company with 13 employees at its headquarters in Depew, was formed to create a tungsten refining plant in Western New York. The key purpose of the new plant is to provide its owners with an independent source of the metal for the production of tungsten carbide powders and other industrial materials. The refinery will free the owners from potential interruptions in supply and reduce dependence on foreign tungsten sources. The company hopes to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2013 and create 50 positions at the new facility over the next three years.
The low-cost hydropower—currently more than 40 percent lower than wholesale market electricity in the region—is drawn from two blocks of electricity generated at NYPA’s Niagara Power Project known as Expansion Power and Replacement Power. In addition to new permanent jobs, the capital investments by the companies are expected to support dozens of construction jobs.
“The certainty of a long-term contract is an essential requirement for any business, including Niagara Refining, which is looking to expand operations in Western New York, said Senator Patrick M. Gallivan. “Today’s power allocation from the New York Power Authority means the company will add the kind of solid, good-paying jobs we need for our vibrant business community.”
"I think this is a great step in the right direction. Hydropower is essential in keeping our energy costs low. I would like to thank the NYPA for their efforts in helping the Niagara Refining of Depew expand their operations," said Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.
Sunrise Farms, a yogurt manufacturer in Chenango County was approved for the third hydropower allocation of 375 kW. The Village of Greene, which is a municipal customer of the Power Authority, applied on behalf of Sunrise Farms for the low-cost hydropower through NYPA’s Municipal and Rural Electric Cooperative Economic Program, which utilizes a 54-megawatt (MW) block of hydropower.
Hydropower from the 54-MW block is allocated to individual systems to meet the increased electric load that results from eligible new or expanding businesses. Sunrise Farms will be expanding its Greek yogurt manufacturing facility, adding 19 full-time jobs.
“Upstate New York must continue to help grow our local businesses like Sunshine Farms in Greene,” said Senator Thomas Libous. “Low-cost power is an important component in helping businesses expand and create new jobs that we desperately need.”
“The Village of Greene approached the Power Authority on behalf of Sunrise Farms, a valuable customer, and the resulting allocation of low-cost power will keep this business, which is competing in a booming industry, at home where it belongs,” said Assemblyman Clifford Crouch. “These types of sensible low-cost power allocations go a long way to helping this region grow.”
“We are thankful to Governor Cuomo and the Power Authority for its impactful hydropower allocation,” said Village of Greene Mayor Phillip E. Brown. “This low-cost power will enable Sunrise Farms to stay and grow right here in Chenango County.”