A recent article in the Buffalo News alerted readers to the low-cost hydroelectric power being made available by the Power Authority. You think that we’d be electrified over this as it represents a pretty good-sized chunk of all the power capacity from the Robert Moses power plant and could help bring just a little manufacturing expansion to the area. Progress and apparent interest has been glacial, like a three-phase motor running on one phase. Congressman Brian Higgins has sparked some interest but our state legislators and most of the public have pretty much been dim bulbs.
The power is up for grabs. At least 70 megawatts was once allocated to this area but as businesses left (or failed) the power was sold off. The state made $26 million in the process, and I wonder how much of that ever came back to Western New York. I can’t find any indication that our elected representatives in the WNY delegation were about to attempt getting this power reallocated to the area. However, a grass-roots campaign popped up locally, and maybe that will bring light to this issue. We can only hope that we can get some share of this power.
Currently, Western New York gets just over a third of the power generated by the Robert Moses plant. Since we can’t attract commercial businesses or corporate headquarters the way that New York City can, and we can’t secede from the state, and we’re stuck with the tax burdens, it would be great if the state would allow us to perhaps help retain manufacturing jobs by offering deep power discounts. God knows this area needs it.
How ironic that with all that cheap, renewable energy we pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country.