The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S.5783) sponsored by Senator William T. Stachowski (D, Lake View) that would create a Western New York economic development fund from proceeds from the sale of unallocated expansion and replacement power.
“The creation of this fund is another key strategy to assisting businesses in Western New York,” said Senator Stachowski. “We can tap into the proceeds from the sale of currently unused power to spur economic development, create jobs, and encourage capital investment throughout our region. For example, the fund could be used for site preparation, brownfield cleanups and to entice private sector investments in Buffalo Niagara.”
The Stachowski legislation would direct the New York Power Authority to designate the proceeds of those sales to a newly created Western New York Economic Development Fund to further benefit local businesses within a thirty mile radius of Niagara Falls.
“Passage of this bill in the Assembly and now Senate may be the best economic development news the Buffalo Niagara region will see out of Albany this year,” said Andrew J. Rudnick, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “The Partnership has long-advocated for keeping hydropower proceeds within a 30 mile radius of Niagara Falls. The significant fund created by this legislation would create a real, tangible difference in our community – whether to bring new employers and their jobs to our region, or to clean up abandoned sites, build infrastructure needed to make sites more attractive for investment, or to adapt existing structures for new uses – all of which can spur more job creation and investment in our region.”
Senator Stachowski explained that the majority of this power, mainly hydropower, is currently used by local employers in the region for the operation of their facilities. When that power is not being utilized, for example, when a plant is not drawing on its full allocation, or when a company has received a block of power but is not yet up and running, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) sells it on the open market and retains the proceeds.
The bill will be sent to the Governor for his approval.