NYPA Approves Continued Allocations of Hydropower for Two Companies in Western New York

Michael Saltzman

March 30, 2004


ALBANY—New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved contract extensions for low-cost hydropower to help solidify the future of two major Western New York employers, Norampac Industries in Niagara Falls and Motorola Inc. in Elma.

“The continued allocations of low-cost power to Norampac and Motorola from our Niagara Power Project signal New York State’s determination under Governor George E. Pataki to work closely with Western New York businesses to help lower their costs and improve their competitiveness,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “This is an effort the Power Authority makes significant contributions toward every day, with more than 43,000 jobs in the region linked to our hydropower allocations, and another 17,000 jobs from other sources of economical electricity.”

The allocations for Norampac and Motorola are drawn from a block of 250,000 kilowatts (kw) of Niagara electricity known as expansion power, reserved for businesses within 30 miles of the Niagara project switchyard. (Western New York businesses also benefit from a second block of Niagara power called replacement power, amounting to 445,000 kw.)

The expansion power contract extensions acted on Tuesday assure Norampac 1,600 (kw) and Motorola 3,600 kw through August 2009. The allocations for the full term of the contracts will depend on federal relicensing of the Niagara Project beyond August 2007, when the current operating license expires.

Norampac, which also operates a manufacturing facility in Buffalo, in addition to the one in Niagara Falls, recycles corrugated materials for packaging boxes for consumer products industries. The company, which is headquartered in Montreal, has been in Western New York for more than 16 years.

Motorola’s Elma facility, in Erie County, manufactures sophisticated automotive sensors and electronic controls that help make vehicles smarter, safer, and more efficient. The plant ranks among the “Best in Class” not only across Motorola, but the entire automotive electronics industry. Next year, the company will celebrate its 50th anniversary in Western New York.

The 2,400,000-kw Niagara Project, in Lewiston, is the single largest source of electricity in New York State. It provides some of the lowest-cost electricity, along with a second large hydroelectric project operated by NYPA, the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Project in Massena