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Northwell gets low-cost power in return for $95 million investment

Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Valley Stream

Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Valley Stream is one of five Northwell locations receiving low-cost electricity from New York State. Credit: Google Maps/Jimenez, Oswaldo

The state granted low-cost electricity to five Northwell Health facilities in Nassau County on Tuesday in return for the health care giant's promise to invest $95 million in equipment and building upgrades.

Northwell, with its headquarters in New Hyde Park, received five of the 12 local allocations made during a meeting of the state Power Authority’s board of directors. The others include Comax Manufacturing Corp. in Melville and Wenner Bread Products Inc. in Bayport and Ronkonkoma.

Northwell’s Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Forest Hills and Oakdale, Queens were among the power recipients in New York City.

“Virtually all of our hospital sites will now have ReCharge NY allocations,” said Northwell energy manager Frank E. Porretto, referring to the state program that gives low-cost electricity to employers in exchange for investment and job retention.

“This will produce savings that we can put back into patient care,” he said in an interview. “For every $100,000 saved we can hire another nurse for a year.”

The ReCharge NY allocations are for seven years and can save employers thousands of dollars annually on their electric bills. The power is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River.

The five Northwell facilities in Nassau, which together employ more than 4,000 people, won a total of 1,478 kilowatts. A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.

Among the latest power recipients, Northwell’s Plainview Hospital has committed to preserving the most jobs: 1,097. The hospital received 336 kilowatts and plans to spend $23 million on improvements, including a new building facade and equipment, Porretto said.

Northwell’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Valley Stream has promised the largest investment among the ReCharge NY recipients: $48 million for a new orthopedics center and other improvements. The hospital received 260 kilowatts and employs 1,010 people.

The largest allocation, 1,610 kilowatts, is going to Wenner Bread for its factories in Suffolk County, where 375 people work.

ReCharge NY was created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to replace the earlier Power for Jobs program. Cuomo said Tuesday the cheap electricity helps "to incentivize businesses to lay down roots and make major capital investments in New York State, both protecting our environment and boosting our regional economies.”

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