NYPA board approves three 10-year hydropower allocations from Niagara Power Project

Niagara project rehab

The New York Power Authority board has approved three 10-year hydropower allocations from the Niagara Power Project to Western New York businesses.

Amcor Rigid Packaging USA — a global manufacturer of packaging products across the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and household markets industries — will receive a 1.75-MW hydropower allocation for the investment of nearly $19 million in a new production facility in Cheektowaga in Erie County. The project will lead to the creation of 24 jobs.

Plug Power will receive a 10-MW hydropower allocation for its expansion project at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the town of Alabama. Plug Power will be investing $290 million in the construction of a hydrogen fuel production facility and a 450-MW electric substation to serve the complex. Plug Power has committed to creating 68 jobs at the new facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily.

The NYPA board also approved $1.5 million in funding for the hydrogen project from the Western New York Power Proceeds program. NYPA funding awards are made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated at NYPA’s Niagara power plant and stems from power proceeds legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2012. 

Pine Pharmaceuticals will receive a 400-kW hydropower allocation for the expansion of its manufacturing plant in the town of Tonawanda. The drug outsourcing company — which moved to the 25,000-square-foot building in the Riverview Solar Technology Park in May 2018 — will be investing $8.6 million to triple the size of the facility and create 40 new jobs and retain its 94 existing jobs.

Low-cost Niagara hydropower is available for companies within a 30-mile radius of NYPA’s Niagara Power Project or businesses in Chautauqua County. Niagara hydropower is linked to tens of thousands of existing jobs in the region.

Governor Cuomo’s climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. New York will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35% with a goal of 40% of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the U.S., operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80% of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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