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Low-cost electricity granted to 29 more WNY businesses; Job retention for region is cited?in outlay by Recharge New York

An additional 29 businesses across Western New York have been selected to receive low-cost electricity in the second round of allocations as part of the Recharge New York program through the New York Power Authority.

State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, announced this week that the companies will receive a total of almost 12 megawatts of low-cost electricity because of their commitment to creating and retaining jobs in Western New York.

"This low-cost energy will inevitably help keep businesses in this area for a long time and will in turn help grow the region's economy," Maziarz said in a statement.

Seneca One Realty, the company that owns One HSBC Center in downtown Buffalo, received the biggest local allocation – 2 megawatts – while two other companies, Empire Cheese and Fisher-Price, each received more than 1 megawatt.

Other major recipients include Cooper Power Systems in Olean, Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk, Republic Steel in Blasdell, Special Metals Corp. in Dunkirk and Staroba Plastics in Holland.

Recharge New York replaced the state's Power for Jobs program, which had been criticized by business officials and recipients because it recently had been operating only year-to-year.

The companies receiving power are expected to sign contracts with terms of as long as seven years. The new allocations will kick in at the beginning of July, after the Power for Jobs program expires.

The program combines the 455 megawatts previously used by Power for Jobs with another 455 megawatts that now are used to cut residential electric bills across upstate by $2 to $4 a month. About 680 of the 910 megawatts for the program have already been allocated.

State and business officials, including the Business Council of New York State and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, have long argued that using the residential power for economic development would have a bigger impact on the state's economy.

For a list of the businesses that have been granted low-cost hydropower in the first two rounds of Recharge New York, see the Strictly Business blog at www.buffalonews.com email:?mparrino@buffnews.com