Low-Cost State Hydropower to Underpin 70 New Jobs At Remington Arms Plant In Herkimer County:
New York Power Authority Acts to Secure Company’s Presence in New York State
January 27, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINS — New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced an allocation of low-cost hydropower for a $7.5 million upgrade and expansion of the Mohawk Valley’s largest employer—Remington Arms Company—which will support the creation of new jobs and bring its total workforce to 970 employees at its Ilion facility. The hydropower, some of the lowest cost electricity in the country, will help to secure the future of the company’s Herkimer County operations, one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating manufacturing facilities of firearms.
In support of this expansion project by Remington Arms, the NYPA Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved an allocation of 3,250 kilowatts (kW) of hydropower to the Village of Ilion Electric Department (IED) in anticipation of the additional power demand the municipal electric system will experience from the company’s plant. Remington has requested that it be annexed to the village’s electric system to benefit from low-cost hydropower from NYPA, whose customers include the state’s 51 municipal electric systems and rural electric cooperatives. The firearms plant will also be increasing its electricity demand as Remington relocates operations from out of state and invests in building improvements and new equipment and machinery.
“Remington Arms is one of the state’s vintage companies, going back nearly 200 years, with the Ilion facility an enduring part of the history and economies of the Village of Ilion, Central New York and New York State,” said Michael Townsend, chair, NYPA Board of Trustees. “The company is renowned for the world-class products it manufactures, including those for law enforcement, the military and security services, and the contributions it makes to conservation practices, safe firearms use and the area community. The Power Authority is delighted to be able to partner with the Village of Ilion to help solidify the long-term outlook of the Hoefler Avenue manufacturing plant to bring about a multimillion expansion and the creation of 70 new jobs.”
“Governor Cuomo has made clear the importance of galvanizing the state’s economy through the strategic deployment of the state’s resources, and low-cost hydropower is certainly a key element,” Kessel said. “Under the Governor’s leadership, we expect to further ramp up the contributions we’re making for creating and retaining jobs through economical power. The allocation to the Village of Ilion for the Remington Arms expansion is one of the latest examples of the durable link between lower-cost power and jobs, with the employment at the facility expected to reach its highest level in years.”
“Every day the Ilion plant is fighting to compete with low cost foreign sourcing and against other sister facilities that enjoy economic benefits this NY site does not,” said Remington Plant Manager James Rabbia. “By allocating this hydro power, NYPA and the State are showing how serious they are about keeping manufacturing and jobs in NYS. Our sincere thanks go out to Senator Seward and Assemblyman Butler for their continued diligence in working for this site. We also want to thank Governor Cuomo, Mr. Kessel and the entire NYPA board as well.”
Mayor John Stephens of the Village of Ilion said: “The Village of Ilion Board of Trustees wishes to express our sincere thanks to the NYPA Board of Trustees and all others involved in this favorable decision for the extra hydro allotment on behalf of Remington Arms. This will obviously help America’s oldest manufacturer of firearms solidify its place in Ilion, NY and secure and expand jobs in the Mohawk Valley in these trying economic times. A historic event for Remington, a historic event for Ilion and a historic event for the region!”
“The low-cost hydropower allocation approved by the Power Authority trustees is one of the building blocks for ensuring that Remington Arms continues to be a lasting part of the Mohawk Valley community and economy,” said Senator James L. Seward. “I was pleased to team with state and local officials in highlighting the need for continued stability and growth of the Remington plant. It’s a facility that has long been a veritable fixture of our community, synonymous with the talent, drive and reliability of the people who live and work here and the quality products they generate.”
“Remington Arms is interwoven in the fabric of the Mohawk Valley, making its long-term success essential to the well-being of all of our citizens,” said Assemblyman Marc W. Butler. “The low-cost hydropower, along with other state and local government incentives, will help to put the company on a solid footing for carrying out the expansion of its production facility, augmenting its already considerable importance to our economy.”
“In this economy, jobs are getting harder to come by,” said Frank “Rusty” Brown, president, United Mine Workers of America Local 717, which represents the bargaining unit employees at the Ilion firearms plant. “Reduced power costs for Remington Arms will help our members remain employed and provide additional jobs.”
The Ilion plant is absorbing some of the operations of a sister facility in North Haven, CTthat is closing this year. The promise of low-cost power and grants and tax abatements from Empire State Development Corp. and the New York State Office of Community Renewal were key factors in the decision by Remington’s parent company, Freedom Group, Inc., to consolidate and expand in Ilion.
The additional power allocation to the Ilion Electric Department for the Remington Arms plant brings to more than 13,000 kW the amount of hydropower allotted to the municipal electric system for its residential and business customers through NYPA’s Municipal and Rural Electric Cooperative Economic Development (MRECED) Program.
A block of 765 megawatts (MW) (one MW equals 1,000 kW) of NYPA hydropower is drawn upon by Ilion and the state’s 50 other municipal systems and rural electric cooperatives under the MRECED Program. A portion of that power—54 MW—is reserved for economic development in the systems’ territories under the Power Authority’s jobs creation program. Approximately half of the available MRECED power remains available for use on behalf of eligible businesses.
■ 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. ■ Approximately 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.