New York secures long-term hydro contract

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and a municipality have entered into a power supply contract for low-cost hydropower that is seen as an economic boost for a rural area in the northern corner of the state.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office on Aug. 28 announced the authorization of a power supply contract between NYPA and the Massena Electric Department (MED), making available up to 20 MW of low-cost hydropower to help support economic development and job growth in St. Lawrence County. The power contract extends to September 2025.

“This contract will help make low-cost, clean power available to businesses and communities in the North Country, fueling additional job growth and economic development,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.  “Our state’s job creators need access to affordable power, and this contract continues the state’s work to ensure our energy sector is equipped to help drive New York’s economic recovery.”

 The Massena Electric Department will be authorized to make allocations from the 20 MW of hydropower—known as “St. Lawrence County Economic Development Power”—after consultation with the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency (RVRDA), the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Local Development Corporation (IDA), and the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. The proposed power allocations are then subject to review by the NYPA trustees for approval.

Power from the NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena will be sold to MED at cost-based rates, with the power resold to the qualified end users at no mark-up beyond costs incurred by MED. The power will be drawn from hydropower previously sold to out-of-state users and redirected to New York State during the 2003 federal relicensing of the St. Lawrence-FDR project.

 The Massena Electric Department is authorized to purchase power from NYPA and also receives nearly 24 MW of cost-based hydropower for its retail customers from the Authority’s Niagara Power Project.

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, “This power contract maximizes the benefits of low-cost hydropower at a time of economic need and furthers the function of public power.”

Officials said the deal will advance efforts to promote economic development by providing low-cost power to businesses and consumers.