Niagara Power to Boost Erie Canal Harbor Development

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The New York State Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB) officially authorized the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to utilize net revenues from the Niagara Power Project for an expedited funding package and Industrial Incentive Award to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC).

These funds will help support future waterfront redevelopment efforts in the Western New York region, including the exciting Canal Side inner harbor revitalization project.

EDPAB’s action follows the Dec. 12 announcement by Gov. David A. Paterson of a renewed commitment from New York State in support of the redevelopment efforts at Buffalo’s inner and outer harbor areas. The announcement preceded the NYPA trustees’ approval several days later of a bolstered funding stream and Industrial Incentive Award to ECHDC for a total of $8.4 million a year for 20 years.

“The Governor and his team at NYPA and ESD honored their pledge to support the redevelopment effort here in Buffalo, moving us one-step closer to creating the transformational waterfront that the people of this region deserve, said ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy.  “ECHDC is extremely thankful to Governor Paterson and the EDPAB for taking Tuesday’s proactive step to bolster the waterfront effort here in Western New York.”

EDPAB chairman Kenneth A. Schoetz and Congressman Brian Higgins also weighed in with praise for the governor’s actions.

“The additional support provided by New York State and authorized by the power allocation board ensures that our efforts to make Canal Side a reality remain on-track,” said ECHDC president Thomas P. Dee.  “This approval is more good news for Buffalo and something that ECHDC certainly expected, but never took for granted.”

Under New York State law, EDPAB must approve the use of the Industrial Incentive Awards, which are funded through net revenues from the sale of a certain block of hydropower deemed Expansion Power.  This Expansion Power is one of the two large amounts of low-cost Niagara power that account for more than one-third of the project’s generating output and is linked to supporting widespread job creation and retention across Western New York.

EDPAB, which was established by a 1987 state law, recommends allocations of electricity with regard to four statewide and downstate power programs administered by NYPA, with those initiatives linked to approximately 320,000 jobs.

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