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Six-year-old state program still offers low-cost power

NY Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones and New

NY Power Authority CEO Gil Quiniones and New York State Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul with mindSHIFT general manager Bob Lamendola in the technology facility Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Sixteen percent of the low-cost electricity in ReCharge NY is still available six years after the state program was started to help employers, officials said Monday.

The state Power Authority continues to review Re Charge NY applications from factories, offices and not-for-profit organizations, though not everyone receives an allocation of cheap electricity, according to authority CEO Gil C. Quiniones.

“Low-cost power from ReCharge NY is still available. . . . It’s awarded through a competitive system,” he said during a tour of mindSHIFT Technologies, an information technology services provider in Commack that relies on 3,000 kilowatts from the state.

“We are looking for businesses that want to invest in New York State and in local communities such as Long Island,” he said in an interview after a tour of mindSHIFT’s data center with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul. “We welcome all applications.”

Forms are available at on.ny .gov/1oin2kt.

ReCharge NY was established in April 2011 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to replace Power for Jobs, a program that couldn’t accept new participants and only offered one-year power contracts.

Of ReCharge NY’s pool of 910 megawatts, 148.5 are still available under contracts for as long as seven years. One megawatt equals 1,000 kilowatts, which is enough to meet the needs of 800 to 1,000 homes.

The amount of electricity available for allocation fluctuates because some recipients fail to keep their investment and employment commitments and the authority takes back some or all of the allocation. In some instances, electricity goes back to the authority because a business has closed or moved out of state.

On Long Island, about 60,000 jobs are tied to the discounted power, some of which is generated in hydro dams near upstate Niagara Falls and Massena.

Local recipients include big employers such as photography and imaging giant Canon U.S.A. and medical supplies distributor Henry Schein Inc., both in Melville, and a handful of hospitals run by New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health.

At mindSHIFT, general manager Bob Lamendola said yesterday that its data center would have moved elsewhere in the metropolitan area without the assistance of New York State, Suffolk County and PSEG Long Island.

The company spent $21 million in recent years on a data center expansion in Commack that will ultimately add 30 jobs to a local workforce of 80.

“We wouldn’t be in this room without your support,” he told state and county officials. “Power is a big factor in our operations” because it runs computer servers and cools the air in the data center.

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