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BPU Reaches Hydropower Deal Early

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities won’t have to worry about the purchasing of hydropower for another 21 years.

On Monday, the BPU board approved a new contract agreement with the New York Power Authority for the utility’s hydropower purchases through Sept. 1, 2040. David Leathers, BPU general manager, said this contract agreement is satisfying on many levels, with one being that the previous contract wasn’t set to expire until 2025.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is anticipated to sign the contract in the coming months. The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees have agreed to the extension. The new contract will continue the sale of approximately 765 megawatts of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project to all 51 municipal and rural electric cooperative systems in the state.

“The BPU’s lower-cost New York Power Authority hydropower annually provides the BPU with approximately 90 percent of electricity supplied to BPU electric customers,” Leathers said “The renewed agreement for affordable hydropower will offer the BPU price stability and the ability to project future power costs for our customers.”

As part of the new contract, the municipal and cooperative systems have recognized the goals of New York’s Clean Energy Standard and Reforming the Energy Vision initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase renewable energy generation.

“The long-term, continued availability of reasonably-priced hydroelectric power to Jamestown and other municipal systems is of utmost importance to the BPU’s ability to provide affordable electric rates to our customers,” Leathers said. “This 15-year extension is a very significant achievement.”

The New York Power Authority is the largest state public power organization in the United States, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,4000 circuit miles of transmission lines. More than 70% of the electricity produced by the New York Power Authority is clean and renewable hydropower.

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