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Low-cost power program strengthens local economy

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Nearly 50 new jobs were committed to the north country in 2013 as part of a state program to provide low-cost electricity to various businesses to stimulate local economies.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday that the program, ReCharge NY, has directly led to 25,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in capital investments statewide.

“Over the past three years, the ReCharge NY program has been on the forefront of our economic development agenda, successfully working to create and sustain jobs and new private sector investment in communities across New York,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.

The 910-megawatt block of electric power making up the ReCharge NY initiative is sourced from the Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric power plants and two hydroelectric power programs.

In the north country, 360 jobs were retained and nearly 50 new jobs were committed as a result of the low-cost power program in 2013, according to Julieanne Sullivan, a senior account executive with the New York Power Authority. She said that the allocations are in the form of seven-year contracts with the businesses. That’s on top of the gains in 2012, the first year of the program.

In all, 0.7 megawatts were allocated to five new locations in 2013. In Gouverneur, Cives Steel Co., Northern Division, 8 Church St., began receiving benefits from the program in July after applying for them in April. Soucy USA, based in Champlain, and Prevost Car Inc., based in Plattsburgh, are among others that began receiving the low-cost power last year.

Many others began receiving the power during the first round of allocations in 2012. In Watertown, Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home, Jain Irrigation, Stature Electric, Current Applications Inc. and Renzi Bros. all have participated in the program since its inception.

To date, 736 of the 910 megawatts have been authorized and allocated to 607 businesses and 69 nonprofit organizations across the state.

According to a statement, the recipients of the low-cost power committed to supporting more than 384,000 jobs and making billions of dollars in capital investments.

“Low-cost power is a valuable resource for businesses as they look to expand here in New York, and this innovative program is leveraging the state’s power generation capacity to create jobs and grow the economy,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.

According to NYPA’s website, 31 north country regional recipients have received 30,152 kilowatts of power, leading to 8,723 committed jobs in the first year of the program.

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