Last week, The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees awarded 18 businesses in across New York State low-cost power under the ReCharge New York (RNY) program.
This is the sixth round of power allocations under RNY, a program that provides low-cost power to businesses that agree to retain or create jobs. The 18 companies provide 3,191 jobs statewide and more than $446 million in capital investments.
Four companies on the list contribute to New York’s robust dairy and yogurt industry including Byrne Dairy, HP Hood, Agrana Fruit US, and Ultra Dairy.
The State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been awarded a $397,000 state grant to support farmers who grow shrub willows as fuel for power plants. ESF will use the grant money for training farmers and other related fields on the best ways to produce and transport the product.
According to a report by Reuters, New York’s electric grid operator said on Thursday the state should have enough power resources to meet customer needs until at least 2019, if demand grows as currently forecast. However, the New York Independent System Operator also raised concern about the future of the Indian Point nuclear plan, writing that it represents “one of the biggest risks to the reliability of the state’s grid.” Indian Point supplies a quarter of the power used by New York City. But there are doubts whether the plant’s federal licenses will be renewed when they expire this year and 2015.
The Cuomo administration has called for Indian Point’s closure and state regulators have told utilities to move ahead with an $800 million contingency plan in the event Indian Point closes in 2016. However, The Business Council believes the governor has not adequately examined the economic impact that would result from the loss of the nuclear plant.
“Unlike typical rate increases that only affect specific utility customers, all New Yorkers are being asked to bankroll this (contingency plan), effectively subsidizing the electricity of New York City and Westchester County customers,” Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, wrote regulators several months ago.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports today that Rochester Gas & Electric ranked number 5 on the 2013 top-10 list of investor-owned U.S. utility companies with the strongest brands. The rankings were done a consulting company which surveyed 32,000 U.S. residential households about utility branding.
Read the full Rochester Democrat & Chronicle story online.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that SUNY Canton will hold public meetings on wind turbines possibly being located on campus. The first meeting is April 16th at at 6 p.m in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s intramural gym. The college is working with the New York Power Authority and Sustainable Energy Developments to determine if wind turbines would provide electricity on campus as well as academic programming.
Read the full Watertown Daily Times article: SUNY Canton sets April 16 hearing on proposed NYS Power Authority wind turbine on campus.
The Business Council supports legislation to amend the environmental conservation law to allow for the transportation and storage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG, is the same natural gas used in homes for heating and cooling but it is condensed into a liquid. Small Business Day on April 17th is your opportunity to show support for this issue.
A.4202 (Camara)/S.119A (Maziarz)
Memo of Support
The Hill: Liquefied natural gas: Transforming US into global energy hub
Forbes: All Roads Lead to Natural Gas-Fueled Cars and Trucks
To register for Small Business Day contact Erin DeSantis Assistant State Director at NFIB for more information. 877.434.1262 or email Erin.DeSantis@NFIB.ORG.
Tim Knauss, reporter for The Post-Standard and Syracuse.Com, posted the following story about a central New York company which will be receiving a large allocation of low-cost power under the state’s Recharge NY program. Governor Cuomo created the program in 2011. It gives New York businesses the ability to buy low-cost power. In return, companies must commit to job retention and creation and invest in capital improvements.
Click here to read more.
Natusumi Ajisaka, staff writer for The Daily Orange, wrote a very good story about The Business Council’s opposition to Governor Cuomo’s proposed extension of the 18-a utility tax. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are also opposed, including Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero), who is quoted heavily in Ajisaka’s piece.
Click here to read more.
Click here to see the list of legislators who stand in opposition to 18-a.
Click here to read The Business Council’s statement on its opposition to 18-a.
[message_box title=”Support the Removal of a Hidden Energy Tax – Let 18a Sunset” color=”red”]A quick look at your electric energy bill will reveal the “Temporary State Assessment Surcharge.” This assessment was scheduled to be reduced this year, saving electric consumers over $200 million. Extending the fee will cost all energy consumers (businesses, governments, schools, non-profits and residences) in the State $236 million in 2013 and $2.8 billion over the next six years.
Click here to tell Governor Cuomo and your local legislators that New Yorkers pay nearly the highest energy taxes in the nation. Electricity is the lifeblood of our economy and must not be burdened by additional taxes, fees, or assessments.[/message_box]
Joseph Spector of Gannett reported on how business is reacting to the proposed state budget. He quoted Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council:
“While the final agreement on both of these measures is an improvement over the original executive budget proposals, they are not consistent with a strategy to promote economic growth and the creation of good paying jobs,” said Briccetti.
Click here to read more.
Diane Cardwell of The New York Times reports that wind-energy projects in the U.S. are picking up after Congress renewed the production tax credit which had expired at the end of last year.
Full article on The New York Times website.