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N.Y. Power Authority Presents Checks Totaling $8 Million to Niagara Power Coalition

Michael Saltzman

December 20, 2005


LEWISTON—Local governments and schools districts in the immediate vicinity of the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project received ceremonial checks Tuesday totaling $8 million, signifying payment of the up-front portion of an agreement with the Niagara Power Coalition for the relicensing of the 2,400,000-kilowatt, hydroelectric project.

“These initial payments reflect the partnership we’ve formed with the host communities for the Niagara Project’s relicensing,” said Frederick E. Chase, executive director, Hydro Relicensing, NYPA. “The relicensing agreement with the Niagara Power Coalition reflects the Power Authority’s continuing commitment to give back to the neighboring communities as part of our responsible stewardship of this major generating project whose low-cost power is integral to Western New York’s economy.”

Tuesday’s ceremonial event, at the Niagara Power Project Visitors Center, the Power Vista, coincided with the actual electronic transfer of the up-front payments to the seven members of the Niagara Power Coalition. The members and the payments are as follows: Niagara Falls City School District; $1,120,000; the City of Niagara Falls, $1,360,000; the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, $1,120,000; the Town of Lewiston, $1,360,000; the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District, $960,000; the Town of Niagara, $1,040,000; and Niagara County, $1,040,000.

NYPA’s agreement with the Niagara Power Coalition also includes $5 million in annual payments to the host communities, commencing after the Niagara Project is issued a new 50-year operating license. The current license expires in August 2007.

Last August, the Power Authority submitted an application for a new project license to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, along with an Applicant-Prepared Environmental Assessment of the project. Both reflected comments by interested parties who have partnered with NYPA in an alternative licensing approach providing for substantial input of various stakeholders. In addition to area municipalities, they included federal and state resource agencies, environmental organizations and customers.

The Niagara Project provides low-cost power for more than 100 businesses and industries on the Niagara Frontier, supporting more than 43,000 jobs, not to mention thousands more at Western New York businesses that have commerce with the companies receiving allocations. The project’s electricity is among the lowest cost in New York State.

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and earns revenue from proceeds of its operations, which stems largely from the sale of electricity. ■ NYPA is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 17 generating plants in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.