By DON GLYNN
Niagara Gazette — Three area businesses will receive low-cost power allocations under the state's ReCharge New York program that offers up to seven-year contracts to participating firms.
The current recipients: Advance 2000 Inc., Amherst; Niagara Specialty Metals, Akron; and Triad Recycling and Energy Corp., Tonawanda, all in Erie County. While no local companies are included in this sixth round of the allocations, Niagara County has been a frequent recipient in the previous rounds, according to Paul DeMichele of the New York Power Authority that administers the program. A NYPA spokesman said the latest allocations are for 18 businesses in support of 3,191 jobs — 450 newly-created — and more that $46 million in capital investments.
Four dairy and yogurt firms are among the 18 businesses to benefit from the allocations. They are based in Cortland County, Oneida County, Onondaga County, and East Syracuse. As a result of increased power to those firms, a Power Authority spokesman said, New York may now be officially identified as America's Yogurt Capital, surpassing California in 2012 as a top producer of yogurt in the U.S.
State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said: I championed this legislation (ReCharge New York) in the Senate to encourage economic development across the state and to ensure job creation over the long term."
Among the Niagara County recipients in the earlier rounds for the low-cost power and the number of jobs committed: Yahoo! Inc., 5319 Enterprise Drive, Lockport (69); Van DeMark Chemical, Lockport (91); Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston (725); Precious Plate, Liberty Drive, Niagara Falls (178); Mayer Bros. Apple Products, Barker (106); Norampac Industries Inc., 4001 Packard Road (125); Calspan Corp., 2041 Niagara Falls Boulevard (40); and Young Woman's Christian Association of Niagara Inc., 542 Sixth St., Niagara Falls (12).
Earlier in the week, Power Authority Chairman John R. Koelmel said the momentum from the success of ReCharge New York has led the agency to this sixth round of allocations to support job growth in every corner of the state."I look forward to the (Power Authority) trustees' review of the next round of allocations as we continue to allocate all 910 megawatts of the program's available power."
In addition to jobs and capital investment commitments, other criteria for applications to the low-cost energy program include the significance of the electricity costs to the overall cost of doing busieness, the applicant's risk of closure or even reducing operations; the importance of the applicant's facility to the local economy, and its commitment to energy efficiency.