Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Byrne Dairy and its affiliate, Ultra Dairy, a third generation, family-owned Central New York producer and distributor of milk, cream, ice cream and a variety of other dairy, are receiving a total of 5.5 megawatts in low-cost electricity through the ReCharge NY program that will allow the company to retain and create a total of 458 jobs and invest an aggregate of $93 million in facilities located in Onondaga County, and a new yogurt plant currently under construction in Cortland County.
Representatives of the New York Power Authority and Byrne Dairy were joined on Wednesday by local elected and economic development officials at the company's new Ultra Dairy facility which produces extended shelf life dairy products, and is located in East Syracuse, Onondaga County.
Recharge NY has been a major building block in identifying innovative ways to help jumpstart our states economy by providing low-cost power to the dairy and manufacturing industries, Governor Cuomo said. With hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investments directly supported by the program, the growth of Byrne Dairy in Central New York is a shining example of our efforts.
The Governor launched ReCharge NY (RNY) to help businesses and other enterprises lower their operating costs and spur economic development. The RNY program offers up to seven-year contracts for lower-cost power, and reserves at least 350 MW for upstate businesses and institutions, 200 MW for business attraction and expansion, as well as up to 100 MW for not-for-profit organizations.
When Byrne Dairy first began receiving RNY power in 2012, we saw significant savings on our electric bills almost immediately, said William Byrne, Secretary and Chairman of the Board, Byrne Dairy. Savings from lower operating costs have helped in the expansion of our production line, leading to increased purchases of milk from our network of upstate farmers. Governor Cuomo has shown with his actionsnot just his wordsthat he is serious about positioning New York agribusiness to be major contenders in local and national markets. This also includes removing bureaucratic barriers to incentivize growth.
Byrne Dairy is a third generation family-owned business that has been manufacturing dairy products for more than 80 years. Based in Central New York, Byrne Dairy works with local New York family farms to produce and distribute fresh milk, cream, ice cream and a variety of other dairy products. The company has multiple facilities in Central New York, including a fresh dairy and ice cream plant in Syracuse, NY. Ultra Dairy, an affiliate of Byrne Dairy, is located in East Syracuse and produces ultra-high temperature, extended shelf life milks and creams that are sold in more than 35 states. The company is currently constructing a new yogurt plant in Cortlandville, NY which is scheduled to be opened in 2014. Savings from RNY were a factor in proceeding with the expansion.
One of the Governors highest priorities is helping to spur key industrial sectors, including dairy processing and manufacturing, to help create and retain jobs in New York, Gil C. Quinones, NYPA president and chief executive officer said. The ReCharge NY program is an outstanding example of how businesses are lowering their operating costs and supporting growth and capital investments.
Byrne Dairy has been an integral member of the Syracuse community and a staple of the areas economy for as long as any of us can remember, said CNY REDC Co-chairs Nancy Cantor, Chancellor & President, Syracuse University and Robert Simpson, President, CenterState CEO. Governor Cuomos ReCharge NY program is making a real difference for our regions diversified economy by providing lower cost power to key regional industries such as wire and medical device manufacturers, high technology testing facilities and hospital centers. These sectors are vital to the continued growth of our regional economy, and the allocation to Byrne Dairy and its affiliate, Ultra Dairy, only furthers the programs impact.
Half of the power under RNY is low-cost hydropower from NYPA's Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric projects in Lewiston and Massena, respectively. The remaining 455 MW is economical power secured by NYPA from wholesale market sources. More than 1,200 applications were reviewed by NYPA staff, in consultation with the Governor's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils for the initial allocations. The applications were submitted through a Consolidated Funding Application process that the Governor established for apportioning state financial incentives and resources for spurring economic development.
In addition to jobs and capital investments, the various statutory criteria for considering RNY applications include the extent to which an allocation would be consistent with existing regional economic development strategies; an applicant's risk of closure or curtailing operations; the significance of the applicant's facility to the local economy; and its commitment to energy efficiency.
Onondaga County Executive and NYPA trustee Joanne Mahoney said, One of Central New York and Onondaga Countys strategic priorities is the promotion of New Yorks agribusiness and other key industrial sectors. The Governors ReCharge NY program fits squarely with those priorities, lowering businesses production costs and enhancing their competitiveness. Thats clearly represented by the capital investments and expansions at Byrne Dairy.
Senator John A. Defranciso said, The Recharge NY program has fundamentally changed the landscape of how we do business in Central New York. Two years ago, Governor Cuomo put the business community and the public sector on notice that New York is Open for Business. Today, hundreds of thousands of jobs are protected by the RNY program, reaffirming that New York is open for business now and into the future.
Senator James L. Seward said, When I helped establish New Yorks original low cost power plan, Power for Jobs, the goal was simple help businesses afford to operate and expand in the Empire State. Now, working with Governor Cuomo, we have continued to advance the ball with the advent of ReCharge New York. Byrne Dairys expansion is fueled, in part, by RNY, and our states renewed effort to create a pro-job growth environment.
Assemblyman Samuel D. Roberts said, Two of the most important incentives to keep our highly educated and highly motivated workforce here in Central New York are good-paying jobs and challenging work. ReCharge NY can be the difference between keeping or attracting innovative industries in the region, or losing good-paying jobs to other states. I will continue to support this common sense initiative.
Assemblyman William Magnarelli said, I applaud the selection of Byrne Dairy/Ultra Dairy to receive the benefits of the ReCharge NY program. The cost of electricity is one of the major expenses for businesses in the State, and ReCharge NY is helping to reduce that cost. This selection will help create and retain 458 jobs, and allow investment of $93 million in Central NY facilities. Governor Cuomo, working with the Legislature, has spearheaded creative programs, such as ReCharge NY, that will make it easier for Upstate communities to retain, expand and attract new businesses.
Assemblywoman Barbara S. Lifton said, Im very pleased that low-cost electricity through the ReCharge NY program is being afforded to the proposed Byrne Dairy yogurt plant and agritourism visitor center in my Assembly district, as well as their affiliate, Ultra Dairy, in Onondaga County. There is great excitement about the project currently being built in Cortlandville. It will help farmers by providing a more local market for their milk, spur local job growth and increase tax revenue. I think this a very valuable program and money well-spent by our state government.
Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, said, Today is a proud day for all of us who've worked hard to make the ReCharge NY program a reality. I want to thank the Power Authority and congratulate County Executive Mahoney. We are especially grateful for Governor Cuomos vision and advocacy for Central New York manufacturers.
RNY has allocated low-cost power to 83 businesses and 3 not-for profit enterprises in Central New York that have committed to retaining more than 20,000 jobs. To locate Central New York RNY recipients, visit: http://www.nypa.gov/RechargeNY/130723/Central%20New%20York%20Region%20Alpha%20Summary%20of%20RNY%20Approved%20Allocations%20through%2007-23-2013.pdf