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New York Power Authority grants low-cost power to three local firms

Three Erie County businesses have been awarded 890 kilowatt-hours of low-cost hydropower by the New York Power Authority under a state program to encourage capital investment.

None of the companies receiving the power said they expect to create any new jobs, although they pledged to maintain the 154 positions they currently have. The companies were granted the power to support initiatives that will invest a combined $5.1 million in those firms.

Of the three local companies receiving electricity under the most recent round of allocations by the state’s Recharge New York initiative, Niagara Specialty Metals in Akron received the largest block of power – 750 kilowatts – to support a $4 million investment program that is expected to retain 39 jobs.

Advance 2000, an Amherst information technology company, is getting 110 kilowatts of power in return for a pledge to maintain 39 jobs in the region.

Triad Recycling and Energy Corp., a Town of Tonawanda company that converts demolition debris, primarily asphalt roofing shingles, into blacktop used for road construction, was awarded 30 kilowatts of power as part of a $150,000 capital investment program. The company pledged to maintain two local jobs.

The allocations to the three local companies accounted for less than 5 percent of the 19.6 megawatts of power that were awarded to 18 companies across New York in the sixth round of power allocations under the Recharge New York program, which was launched in 2011 to replace the state’s Power for Jobs program.

Half of the electricity used in the Recharge New York program comes from the Power Authority’s hydroelectric plants in Lewiston and Massena, with the other half coming from power that NYPA purchases on the open market.

More than 40 percent of the power in the latest round of allocations went to Bloomberg LP, a financial services information provider founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that is planning to invest $245 million in facilities in Rockland County and create 80 jobs.

Almost 25 percent of the power allocated was divided among four dairy and yogurt businesses that are pledging to create 215 new jobs in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley through investment programs costing more than $107 million.