ReCharge NY program helping Berry Plastics

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved another round of low-cost power allocations under his statewide ReCharge NY program.

The nearly 33 megawatts of low-cost power will be distributed among 47 enterprises at 53 facilities, including one in Dunkirk, and are expected to leverage an estimated $1 billion in capital investments. Nearly 17,000 jobs are being supported by this round of allocations.

“ReCharge NY has been creating and retaining thousands of jobs for New Yorkers since power began flowing under the program in July 2012,” Cuomo said. “ReCharge NY continues to deliver affordable power to businesses and non-profits, providing a critical resource and the flexibility needed for them to keep growing and investing in their communities. With this latest round of power allocations, we are supporting nearly 17,000 jobs across the state and fueling companies to grow our economy.”

Berry Plastics Corp. of Dunkirk was one of the recipients of the power allocations. Berry Plastics will receive $3 million in Recharge NY power allocations, which was listed at 1,296 kilowatts in the announcement. In addition, the company is committed to retaining 56 jobs and creating 15 new jobs.

Alan Gross is the plant manager of Berry Plastics’ Dunkirk facility, which has been in operation 12 years, delivering to customers in western New York, southern Ontario and beyond. He said the Dunkirk plant would see capital improvements, but the amount of work and timeframe are not ready to be announced at this time.

“We are extremely appreciative of the state personnel, NYPA, the regional economic development council of Western New York, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency personnel and the Dunkirk mayor for their assistance in helping us secure this grant,” Gross added.

This is the seventh round of power allocations under the RNY program, which stems from legislation signed by the governor in 2011. The program, administered by NYPA, is designed to spur economic development throughout the state by providing low-cost power to businesses and other entities that agree to create or retain jobs.

John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman, said, “The ReCharge NY program allows NYPA to direct low-cost power to key enterprises in every corner of the state. Today’s action by the NYPA board will work to ensure that dozens of companies are able to keep growing and contributing to the upswing in the state’s economy under Governor Cuomo.”

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said, “This is now the seventh round of power allocations under the Governor’s ReCharge NY program. We’ve allocated more than 80 percent of the available pool of power, aiding in the commercial growth of these regions. ReCharge NY has become one of New York’s most important economic development tools, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, making a real difference for families and communities throughout the state.”

Including the recent allocations, the governor’s power program has provided approximately 735 MW to 533 businesses and 70 not-for-profit organizations over the last two years. (One megawatt is enough power to meet the needs of 800 to 1,000 typical homes.)

In addition to jobs and capital investment commitments, other evaluation criteria for ReCharge NY applications include the significance of the cost of electricity to the overall cost of doing business, the applicant’s risk of closure or curtailing operations, the significance of the applicant’s facility to the local economy and its commitment to energy efficiency.

The ReCharge NY program offers up to seven-year power contracts to businesses. Half of the power under the program-455 MW-is from NYPA’s Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric power plants, which provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the state. The remaining 455 MW is economical power secured by NYPA from market sources.