NYPA Extends Low-cost Hydro Power Allocations to Two Western New York Companies Protecting 428 Jobs

Michael Saltzman

September 27, 2004


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Monday approved contract extensions for low-cost hydropower with two Western New York companies—Westwood Squibb of Buffalo and Viking Lockport—that will help protect a total of 428 jobs for the region.

The actions will ensure the companies continue to receive electricity from the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, the source of some of the least-cost electricity in New York State.

“The contract extensions with Westwood Squibb and Viking Lockport underscore Governor George E. Pataki’s commitment to enhance the competitiveness of businesses in Western New York with various measures, including allocations of low-cost Niagara power,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “The hydroelectric project, which is linked to more than 43,000 jobs in the region, significantly lowers the energy costs of area businesses, helping them to stabilize and grow their work forces.”

The electricity for the two extended contracts is from a block of 250,000 kilowatts (kw) known as expansion power—one of two blocks of Niagara power for businesses and industries in Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua Counties, within a 30-mile radius of the project’s switchyard. (The other block—445,000 kw—is called replacement power.)

The typical business customer pays under 2 cents per kilowatt-hour for Niagara hydropower.

Westwood Squibb (a division of Bristol Myers-Squibb, New York) manufactures anti-inflammatory and dermatological products at its Buffalo facility, where it will continue to receive an allocation of 750 kw to help protect 265 jobs.

Viking (formerly Avon Injected Rubber and Plastics) has committed to protect 163 positions at its manufacturing facility in the Town of Lockport in return for its continued allocation of 300 kw. The company produces light assemblies for the automotive industry.

The Niagara project, with a capacity of 2,400,000 kw, is the single largest source of electricity in the state, first producing power in 1961.