It is critical that the legislature adopt a new, statewide economic development power program in the 2010 session.
The Power for Jobs and the Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs expired on June 2, 2010, leaving several hundred energy-intensive businesses facing higher costs and uncertainty regarding future power supply and prices.
Therefore, we strongly support Assembly approval of S.8065, which has already passed the Senate with broad, bipartisan support (vote of 59 to 2).
This legislation includes key provisions necessary to support high paying jobs and promote new capital and energy efficiency investments, resulting in significant economic returns to the state. These include:
- A new, permanent program to replace the Power for Jobs and Economic Development Power programs that will provide predictability and certainty for program participants.
- A 910 MW program that will give the state more economic development power resources than are available under expiring programs, that can accommodate new program participants statewide.
- Allocation-based power benefits and long-term contracts of up to seven years that will provide competitive, stable electric power prices to energy intensive businesses.
- Eligibility criteria that assure significant, long-term economic return to the state, including the number and value (wages and benefits) of jobs created and retained, investments in capital equipment and energy efficiency, the significance of energy costs to a business’ competitiveness, and the local economic significance of the facility.
This legislation is supported by the Administration and the Senate, and is the product of bipartisan negotiations and agreement.
While this bill redeploys current NYPA hydropower from residential to economic development uses, it includes a residential rate mitigation fund that begins at $100 million, to help offset adverse impact on ratepayers. This redeployment is a “means to the end” – a necessary step to create a more effective economic development program that retains and grows high paying jobs in manufacturing and other energy intensive business. The bill also guarantees, at minimum, that the same level of aggregate benefits now provided to upstate business under Power for Jobs will be provided to upstate business under the new program.
In addition to the rate mitigation included in this bill, the state is devoting significant additional funding for residential energy efficiency programs, including $90 million through NYSERDA’s recently adopted RGGI implementation plan.
Overall, we believe this bill offers a reasonable balance of economic development resources and residential rate protection.
For these reasons, we strongly urge the Assembly to pass S.8065, and help put into place a new, comprehensive, statewide economic development power program.