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Legislative Memo

BILL:

S.1393 (Wright)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Preservation Power

 

DATE:

February 15, 2005

 

The Business Council supports the statutory allocation of preservation power from the St. Lawrence Project by the New York Power Authority.

JUSTIFICATION

The low-cost power provided by the Power Authority from the St. Lawrence Project has had a significant, positive effect on economic development for the North Country. The businesses receiving this power are energy-intensive manufacturers who are critically dependent on this allocation, and its loss would have a major adverse effect on these companies, and consequently the thousands of people they employ.

Since its inception, the Power Authority has provided low cost power for economic development to this region. The Federal Power Commission issued a license to NYPA to construct and operate the St. Lawrence Project in 1953 and the plant began operation in 1958. Although there is a license stipulation that a “reasonable portion” of the St. Lawrence Project's output be provided to out-of-state customers, there are no other federal limitations on the plant's output.

St. Lawrence's industrial contracts expire in 2013, at which time section 1005(5) of the Power Authority Act will likely apply. The statute, if unamended, would appear to make continued service to industrial customers a secondary purpose, with priority given to “domestic and rural customers.”

This bill would amend the Public Authorities Law to provide the statutory authority to allow for the continued allocation of low-cost power to businesses located within 60 miles of the St. Lawrence project.

For these reasons The Business Council supports this legislation and strongly recommends its adoption.