A 142-year-old ice manufacturer in Riverhead that supplies Yankee Stadium is among seven local businesses to be awarded low-cost electricity from New York State, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.
Long Island Ice & Fuel Corp. received 106 kilowatts from the state Power Authority's ReCharge NY program in return for pledging to spend $500,000 on new equipment and to maintain 22 jobs.
The sixth-generation, family-owned business plans to buy compressors, a condenser and other equipment "that will make us more efficient and lower our operating costs," said Chris Conklin, vice president and a member of the fifth generation to operate the company, along with his brother Kyle.
"I still see continued steady growth in the future because there are new markets to look into such as gourmet-type ice products," Chris Conklin said. Gourmet ice is favored by upscale restaurants and bars because the clear cubes have a uniform shape and take longer to melt.
Conklin said Long Island Ice "has the ability to make 150 tons of ice every 24 hours." It was founded in 1880 by William Sweezy and now includes three members of the family's sixth generation as employees: Andrew, Joshua and Megan Conklin.
Besides Yankee Stadium, Long Island Ice supplies gas stations, supermarkets, beverage stores, catering halls, private events and championship golf tournaments, according to Andrew Conklin, Chris' nephew. The company's workforce swells to around 60 in the summer, he said.
Long Island Ice is among four of the latest power recipients that have each committed to spending $500,000 on factory improvements. The others are Great Northern Fibers LLC in West Babylon, Maggio Environmental LLC in Yaphank and Southold Recycling LLC in Cutchogue.
Great Northern won the largest power allocation: 260 kilowatts.
The recycling company, which has 40 employees, plans to purchase new equipment to produce paper and cardboard from recycled materials, according to its ReCharge NY application.
Maggio Environmental, with 50 employees, has the largest workforce among the recent power recipients. The 65-year-old company rents trash dumpsters to customers and collects and recycles garbage.
The others awarded low-cost electricity are Astro Electroplating LLC in Bay Shore, Howe Machine & Tool Corp. in Bethpage and Panor Corp. in Hauppauge.
All of the power recipients are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
As a group, the firms will spend $2.6 million on new equipment and machinery. They employ 242 people but none has promised to add to their workforce.
The businesses will share 928 kilowatts. A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes, officials said.
The power allocations are for seven years.
“The low-cost power program is stimulating large-scale investment and job growth in communities across the state,” said Justin E. Driscoll, the power authority’s interim president and CEO.
Some of the ReCharge NY power is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River upstate.
The program has 190 customers on Long Island, including companies, hospitals and nonprofits. Ninety of them are small businesses, according to state data as of last week.
The large employers receiving cheap electricity include photography and copier supplier Canon U.S.A. and medical supplies distributor Henry Schein, both in Melville; North Shore University Medical Center in Manhasset and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.