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Renaissance Technologies wins cheap power from NYS for HQ upgrade

Renaissance was founded in 1982 by its chairman

Renaissance was founded in 1982 by its chairman James Simons, seen here in 2011. Credit: Randee Daddona

Renaissance Technologies LLC in East Setauket, one of the most successful hedge funds in history, will save substantially on its electric bills thanks to low-cost power from the state.

Renaissance was founded in 1982 by its chairman James Simons, a billionaire who is a major contributor to the Democratic Party. Another billionaire, Robert Mercer, has held several positions at the hedge fund. He is a key contributor to the Republican Party and a conservative think-tank that’s critical of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

On Wednesday, Cuomo announced that Renaissance was granted ReCharge NY energy from the state Power Authority in return for promising to spend $73.6 million on computers, system maintenance and telecommunications equipment for the East Setauket headquarters. The company, which reportedly oversaw about $75 billion as of earlier this year, also has pledged to preserve its 150 high-paying jobs.

Renaissance will receive 1,236 kilowatts. A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.

Other financial services giants receiving low-cost electricity from the state include Citigroup, HSBC and Morgan Stanley, all in Manhattan.

Renaissance is among five Long Island businesses to secure cheap power on Wednesday. The allocations are for seven years.

In its application for the low-cost electricity, the hedge fund said it "is exploring relocating part of our facility that is heavily reliant on power to a more competitively priced region" out of state. "Lower utility costs will encourage Renaissance to remain in New York."

A Renaissance spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday. The company, on its website, calls itself "a quantitative investment management company trading in global financial markets, dedicated to producing exceptional returns for its investors by strictly adhering to mathematical and statistical methods."

Renaissance employees are big donors to Stony Brook University, where the medical school bears the Renaissance name.

Among the latest power recipients, the hedge fund received the largest allocation and has promised to invest the most money.

Whitsons Culinary Group in Islandia will create the greatest number of new jobs: 36.

The distributor of prepared foods, which employs 100 people, plans to add a production facility in Oceanside and a cold-storage facility in Bohemia. The $7.7 million expansion was awarded 906 kilowatts.

The other ReCharge NY recipients are AAR Allen Services Inc., which repairs aircraft components in Garden City; construction materials supplier Posillico in Holtsville, and waste management provider Tully Environmental Inc., which operates on Long Island and in New York City.

Cuomo said on Wednesday, "We're providing some of the cleanest and lowest-cost electricity in the state to lessen the economic burden caused by COVID, bolster New York companies and nonprofits in this new normal, and to keep and create jobs in our state."

In September, the dental devices manufacturer Parkell Inc. won 140 kilowatts in return for investing $750,000 in a direct marketing division. The Edgewood company will add 20 jobs to its payroll of 82 people.

Also in September, the state granted 40 kilowatts to HydroOrganic Farms, which grows herbs and leafy greens using robots. The East Setauket company is investing $400,000 and will double its workforce to two people.

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