Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Mayer Bros. Apple Products, Inc., a Western New York fruit juice producer, is receiving 626 kilowatts in lower cost electricity through the ReCharge NY program, allowing the company to retain 200 jobs and invest $9 million in operation upgrades.
Representatives of the New York Power Authority and Mayer Bros. were joined by Western New York elected officials at the fruit juice producer's cider mill in West Seneca, which along with another Mayer Bros. facility in nearby Barker, is benefiting from ReCharge NY power, as cider production ramps up with the apple harvest season.
"ReCharge NY is helping businesses across New York State make critical investments and expand their operations," Governor Cuomo said. "Mayer Bros. is a perfect example of how the state is partnering with the private sector to ensure vital resources such as low-cost electricity are available to fuel economic growth. As New York's economy recovers and jobs start coming back in all corners of the state, we must continue to ensure that affordable, clean power is available for our businesses so they can grow and prosper."
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.
Mayer Bros., a family-owned business established in 1852, is among the hundreds of employers in the Buffalo-Niagara region and other parts of New York State that began receiving ReCharge NY power this summer under the program. More than 90 allocations in Western New York are linked to the retention of 27,000 jobs under the program. (For a complete list of the Western New York RNY recipients, go to http://www.nypa.gov/RechargeNY/120626/Western%20NY.pdf)
John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman and a resident of East Amherst, said, "The ReCharge NY program is a major economic development initiative resulting from the leadership of Governor Cuomo in spearheading the necessary legislation," said "Although it had long been recognized that a new statewide power program was needed to underpin the long-term planning of businesses for investments in their facilities, efforts by previous administrations were unsuccessful in bringing this about. The ReCharge program is a shot in the arm for businesses, as we're spotlighting here at Mayer Bros., and a prominent example of the favorable conditions being put into effect under Governor Cuomo in support of his 'New York Open for Business' approach."
Senator George Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said, "The ReCharge NY program is one of the linchpins to the state's economic development efforts. The initial allocations under the program-and the corresponding job and capital investment commitments by the recipients-are validation of the coordinated efforts of Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to bring forth the necessary legislation. It's greatly satisfying to anticipate the tangible benefits of this endeavor going forward, as we're seeing first-hand at Mayer Bros. Apple Products."
Senator Timothy Kennedy said, "The ReCharge NY program is a vital element of the innovative measures being undertaken under Governor Cuomo for revitalizing businesses in New York State. Mayer Bros. and approximately 90 other significant employers in Western New York have received allocations under this new initiative in the first few months of the program, with our region expected to receive additional power allotments going forward for both job retention and creation."
Assembly Member Stephen Hawley said, "Today's event at Mayer Bros. is indicative of the tremendous value of the Governor's ReCharge NY power program as a catalyst for capital investments by businesses to solidify their work forces and encourage expansions and new jobs. New York State's partnership with businesses, as reflected by this program, is another step toward advancing the state's economy and establishing conditions for the competitive success of numerous employers."
Assembly Member Michael Kearns said, "Mayer Brothers has been an institution in Western New York for more than four generations. This ReCharge NY power allocation solidifies its ability to continue to grow and expand through capital investments and good jobs, exactly what this new economic development tool was designed to achieve."
Mayer Bros., which also benefits from an earlier allocation of low-cost hydropower from NYPA's Niagara Power Project, is investing $8.9 million for new apple-pressing operation upgrades, a new hard cider line installation and new equipment for bottling lines.
Mayer Bros. is the largest selling branded apple juice product in the Western and Central New York markets. It annually presses more than 30,000 tons of apples for its cider production. Orchards across Western New York supply some of the finest varieties of apples to be pressed into Mayer Bros. cider. In addition to apple cider, Mayer Bros. is a major regional provider of, natural juices, fruit punch, iced tea and bottled spring water.
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 1,000 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.
Terrance P. Flynn of Amherst, a NYPA trustee from Western New York, said, "Innovative measures such as Governor Cuomo's ReCharge NY program are making a big difference in villages, towns and cities across New York State, in helping businesses to lower their operating costs and make them more competitive and successful," said. "These efforts are positioning businesses to invest in their facilities and grow their work forces as the economy gains more traction toward recovery and demand for products and services increase."
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said, The public-private sector partnership reflected by the allocation of lower-cost power to Mayer Bros. is an alliance duplicated at hundreds of other businesses throughout the state under Governor Cuomo's ReCharge NY program, for which the New York Power Authority has so far awarded approximately 680 megawatts (MW) of power. The Power Authority has worked closely with the Governor's Regional Economic Development Councils, Empire State Development Corp. and other parties to maximize the benefits of this ambitious program for encouraging capital investments by businesses and other enterprises and their retention and creation of jobs. The program has gotten off to a tremendous start and we're looking forward to making additional power allocations in the months ahead."
Satish K. Tripathi, co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) and President of the University at Buffalo, said, "Mayer Bros. was among the standouts in the ReCharge NY applications submitted by businesses from our region," said "This enterprise has long been one of the pillars of our area economy and has grown significantly over the decades beyond its production of apple cider, including bottled water. The continuing investments in its facilities underscore its commitment to Western New York."
Howard A. Zemsky, co-chair, WNYREDC said, "The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council rated the Mayer Bros. application for ReCharge New York very highly, in joining with the Power Authority and others in assessing the requests received for the program's low-cost power. Beyond the applicant's business plans, the power allocations were considered in the context of such factors as commerce with other businesses in the region, with the goal of augmenting the impact of the power allocations well beyond the recipients. The Governor's program will provide significant benefits on that score."
Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development Regional President, said, "The Governor's ReCharge NY program is paying immediate rewards for Western New York businesses, as we see early on with its implementation at Mayer Bros. and other enterprises along the Niagara Frontier. Electricity accounts for a major portion of the operating costs of manufacturing and processing facilities. ReCharge NY lessens those costs to improve their economic efficiency and competitiveness, anchoring their employment rates and providing new opportunities for expansions. It's a win-win for Western New York and New York State."
Garrett Mayer, treasurer and general manager, Mayer Bros, said, "New York State has been a valued partner in its recognition of the benefits we bring to the region, including purchases from area orchards and other expenditures that we make for goods and services. Electricity is one of the key production-cost components for our advanced juice products and bottling lines. That's why we're so appreciative of Governor Cuomo's ReCharge NY program, which provides the long-term certainty of economical, stable electricity rates."