NYPA approves 20-megawatt electric power contract for county economic development
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 5:08 pm

The New York Power Authority has approved a new contract making 20 megawatts of electric power available for St. Lawrence County economic development, according to NYPA President and CEO Richard Kessel.

The NYPA Board of Trustees approved the measure Tuesday and forwarded it to Governor Paterson for his approval.

“Since the successful relicensing of the St. Lawrence project, NYPA has been steadfast in its support of the use, for economic development, of a portion of the power previously assigned to certain neighboring states under the prior license,” Kessel said. ”Today’s contract brings the process full circle with an allocation of the power coming home to now create jobs and encourage capital investment in St. Lawrence County.”

Massena resident and NYPA Trustee Eugene Nicandri said, “Here in the North Country, this represents a significant opportunity as we move forward with plans to revitalize the economy of this county and region utilizing its most valuable resource – allocations of low-cost hydropower to attract business and support jobs.

“We are pleased that the Power Authority trustees have approved the contract for the allocation of 20 megawatts of low-cost hydropower for local economic development efforts,” said Robert McNeil, Chairman of the St. Lawrence River Redevelopment Agency. “We are now one step closer to achieving our goal to create a new program that will provide the tools to build the economy of the future of the North Country.”

Under the contract, the Massena Electric Department will act as an agent by purchasing the power at NYPA’s cost-based rate, and will in turn sell it to appropriate economic development partners at no markup, though MED will add on distribution charges.

The contract runs through 2025 with a commitment to negotiate a new contract with a term through the end of the current St. Lawrence power project license in 2053.