Gov. Andrew Cuomo was North Tonawanda, Niagara County, this morning to announce a new low-cost power program for businesses that is aimed at spurring economic development. “Recharge New York” replaces the state’s “Power for Jobs” program, which was not accepting new businesses and had been renewed by the Legislature on an annual basis while officials worked on a permanent replacement for it. Recharge New York allows companies and non-profits to enter into seven-year contracts.
“One of my top priorities is to bring jobs to New York, and this program is one way to get that done,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Recharge New York delivers savings and stability to businesses in the state so they can expand and innovate while providing good jobs for hard-working New Yorkers. Recharge New York is a prime example of how New York is open for business.”
Cuomo visited Ascension Industries’ factory in North Tonawanda to sign the Recharge New York bill, which was approved as part of the 2011-12 state budget.
The new program will:
— Provide 910 megawatts of power for participants.
— Be supported by 455 megawatts of hydroelectric power and 455 megawatts of market power.
— Reserve at least 350 megawatts for upstate businesses and institutions.
— Reserve at least 200 megawatts for business attraction and expansion.
— Reserve up to 100 megawatts for not-for-profits.
Companies will receive contracts based on commitments to capital investment, job creation and retention, consistency with regional economic-development priorities and other factors, according to the governor’s office.
Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chairman George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, said the new program “is a long time coming.”
“The best use of low-cost hydropower is to retain and create jobs. Recharge New York is built around this fundamental premise, and this program will be one of our best tools to turn around the economy of Western New York and the entire state,” he said in a statement.