NYPA CEO Presents Check for $172,000 to Local Government Task Force Stemming From Above Average Water Flows at St. Lawrence-FDR Project
March 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MASSENA—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today formally presented a check for nearly $172,000 to the St. Lawrence Local Government Task Force (LGTF), NYPA’s partner in the relicensing of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project. The check, which is in addition to NYPA’s $2 million annual contribution to support the communities and school districts represented by the task force, stems from a relicensing commitment to provide additional funding when the annual net generation at the hydroelectric project exceeds a certain level.
“It’s with great pleasure that we’re providing additional funding to the local communities as a result of above-average water flows in the St. Lawrence River that contributed to a good year for power generation in 2009 at the St. Lawrence-FDR project,” Kessel said. “This generating facility is of fundamental importance to the North Country, with the relicensing of the project several years ago further enhancing the value that the facility brings to the region. Today’s check presentation is a byproduct of that process.”
“We greatly appreciate the additional payment by the Power Authority in its providing us with increased financial benefits from the St. Lawrence-FDR project during high water flow years as part of NYPA’s relicensing commitments to the host communities,” said Robert McNeil, LGTF chairman. “This extra funding will support the essential services that our schools, towns and villages provide, in the same manner that the Authority’s $2 million annual payments do.”
Under the financial provisions of a comprehensive relicensing accord, the Power Authority agreed to contribute about $115 million to the LGTF communities and school districts from initial and annual payments over St. Lawrence-FDR’s 50-year license and from the additional payments during high-river flow years. A supplemental funding mechanism provides for additional payments when the project’s annual net generating output is greater than seven million megawatt-hours (mwh), and is pegged to the amount of generation exceeding that level.
In 2009, St. Lawrence-FDR produced more than 7.17 million mwh. This marked the first time the project had surpassed the level for additional payments since the issuance by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of the facility’s new operating license in 2003.
As with the $2 million annual payments that the Power Authority makes to a Community Enhancement Fund, the supplemental funding is designated for the towns of Massena, Louisville and Waddington; the villages of Massena and Waddington; the Massena and Madrid-Waddington school districts; and St. Lawrence County. (NYPA made its most recent annual payment in December.)
The St. Lawrence-FDR project’s relicensing is resulting in a wide range of economic, environmental and recreational benefits from the Power Authority throughout the project area. Other elements include:
A $66 million commitment to the environment, including a number of habitat improvement projects completed for fish, birds and wildlife and an award-winning eel-passage facility at the generating project;
A total of $19 million in improvements at state and local parks;
A $3.7 million shoreline stabilization program;
A $1 million fund to support environmental research and environmental education projects relating to the ecology of the St. Lawrence River watershed; and
A $10 million fund for the Seaway Private Equity Corp., a private, not-for-profit corporation, for investment in economic development initiatives in St. Lawrence County.
The Power Authority is also carrying out a $281 million Life Extension and Modernization program at St. Lawrence-FDR, with its recently having completed work on the 12th of 16 turbine generators to undergo refurbishing. The program, which will enhance the project’s overall performance flexibility and efficiency, is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.