Power Authority Hydropower to Help Four Western New York Manufacturers Create 64 Jobs

Michael Saltzman

March 29, 2005


WHITE PLAINS—New allocations of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project will help to create a total of 64 jobs at four Western New York manufacturers that are undertaking expansions, including major equipment acquisitions.

The NYPA Trustees Tuesday approved allocations, totaling 3,490 kilowatts (kw), for BMP America and Associated Brands in Medina, E.I DuPont de Nemours & Co. in Niagara Falls and Allegheny Technologies in Lockport. The power will be drawn from two blocks of Niagara power, known as replacement power and expansion power, that combine for a total of 695,000 kw of power. Both blocks are reserved for Western New York manufacturers, and are currently linked to over 43,000 jobs at more than 100 area companies.

“The latest allocations stem from a coordinated effort under Governor George E. Pataki to make Niagara power available on a continuous basis to companies promising to create and protect jobs for Western New York,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “We’re working hard to maximize the potential of uncommitted power, recognizing its value in supporting the growth of area businesses and industries.”

More than 106,000 kw of Niagara power remain available for the region’s economy following the NYPA board meeting.

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of the Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk, Empire State Development Corp. and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, recommended the newest allocations. In late 2003, the members of the group signed a Memorandum of Understanding for allocations of available Niagara replacement and expansion power on a continuous basis.

Since the agreement, the Power Authority has made allocations to a total of 29 Western New York companies, including the four approved Tuesday.

BMP America, which manufactures textile components for business machines, will receive 120 kw of replacement power in return for adding 10 jobs to its existing Medina work force of 120.  The company is undertaking a 40,000-square-foot expansion, facilitating its acquisition of additional machinery, for a total investment of more than $2 million.

DuPont will receive 3,000 kw of replacement power to support its creation of 30 jobs at its Niagara Falls plant where 254 employees now work. The chemical manufacturer is investing $1.6 million for additional sodium and lithium cells and associated equipment used in the manufacture of those chemicals.

Associated Brands, a second Medina company, is slated for 170 kw of expansion power, as it adds 21 jobs to an existing total of 208. The company, which manufactures dry food products, is spending more than $950,000 on new equipment.

Allegheny Technologies, a diversified specialty materials company, will receive 200 kw of expansion power.  It plans to add 3 jobs to its Lockport work force of 43 and spend $357,000 for new equipment and building modifications.  The company manufactures steel for turbine generators and aircraft engines, among other applications. 

The Niagara Power project, in the Town of Lewiston, is the single largest source of electricity in New York State, with a generating capacity of 2.4 million kilowatts. The project provides some of the state’s lowest cost power, along with a second NYPA hydroelectric facility, the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Project, in Massena.