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N.Y. Power Authority Approves Low-Cost Power Allocations for 53 New Western New York Jobs

Michael Saltzman 

September 20, 2005


ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved new low-cost power allocations from the Niagara Power Project for two Western New York companies in return for commitments to create 53 new jobs.

Invitrogen Corp. a pharmaceutical and biotech company in Grand Island, and American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc., in Cheektowaga are undergoing multimillion dollar expansions that will be supported by the allocations.

“These are the latest in a series of Niagara allocations that we’ve made since early 2004 under an enhanced process for making the low-cost electricity available on a continuous basis to encourage investment and job creation in Western New York,” said Joseph J. Seymour, NYPA chairman. “In less than two years, the job commitments that we’ve received for this power have topped 2,500, underscoring the hydroelectric project’s considerable value to the region.”

Chairman Seymour noted that the streamlined process has resulted in allocations over this period of some 50,000 kilowatts (kw) of power in support of $672 million in investments by those receiving the power.

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of the Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk, Empire State Development Corp., and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, recommends allocations from two blocks of Niagara industrial power, known as replacement power and expansion power. Together, the two blocks of power, totaling 695,000 kw, are linked to more than 43,000 jobs on the Niagara Frontier.

Invitrogen Corp. will receive an allocation of 375 kw of replacement power in return for creating 36 jobs and protecting 452 existing ones. The company is undertaking modifications to provide additional space for new manufacturing equipment for various pharmaceutical and biotech products, investing $5-1/2 million on the expansion.

American Axle & Manufacturing will receive 650 kw in return for creating 17 jobs and protecting 142 existing positions. The company, which is a premier manufacturer of automotive drive-line and chassis systems, is undertaking an $8.6 million expansion of its production and office facilities.

The 2,400,000-kw Niagara Project, about five miles downstream from Niagara Falls, provides some of the lowest cost power in New York State, along with being its single largest source of electricity.