The State Senate passed important pro-jobs legislation co-sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky, (D-Oneida), that would protect more than 250,0000 jobs statewide and stable energy rates for employers.
This legislation (S.3164) extends the current Power for Jobs program, an initiative that has helped retain and attract jobs through offering companies lower energy rates in exchange for economic development, until June 30, 2012. It would then be replaced by Governor Cuomo's more expansive ReCharge NY program.
ReCharge NY would offer up to 910 Megawatts of power to participating programs – double the amount currently available under Power for Jobs. Unlike Power for Jobs, which has been subject to yearly renewals by the Legislature, ReCharge NY will be permanent.
“This critically important job creation tool will allow New York, which has the dubious distinction of having the third highest energy costs in the nation, to be competitive with other states,” said Senator Valesky. “I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership and I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to join us to make this much needed program a reality.”
More than 500 businesses and non-profit organizations, which in-turn employ roughly 250,000 New York State residents, are participants in the current Power for Jobs program.
Participation is expected to increase substantially under the more robust ReCharge NY. Under this program, at least 100 MW will be available for small businesses and at least 200 MW will be reserved to attract new businesses and new jobs to New York State. The amount of discounted wattage available to Upstate communities will also be increased from 300 MW to 350 MW.
The new program will also include a more competitive application process, where companies will also have to show a commitment to energy efficiency upgrades.
The new program will be administered by the Power Authority of the State of New York and the Economic Development Power Allocation Board.
According to the Governor, the ReCharge New York Power Program would not require funding from the State. Rather, costs would be paid for by NYPA through a combination of hydroelectric power and other resources deemed feasible and advisable by its Board of Trustees. This legislation authorizes NYPA to make a voluntary contribution of $7.5 million to the state.