WHITE PLAINS — Medina-based WNY Energy, an ethanol producer, is among businesses in the Western New York region that will receive hydropower or a cash award through programs of New York Power Authority.
By a Tuesday vote of the NYPA Board of Trustees, WNY Energy was granted a 10-year, 700-kilowatt low-cost hydropower allocation to support the establishment of 10 new jobs and $17.5 million in capital investments including construction of an 8,000-square-foot addition. The company's expansion timetable projects a 2021 finish date.
WNY Energy has been a NYPA customer since its establishment more than 15 years ago, receiving 5,000 kilowatts in return for a commitment of 40 jobs. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the company modified its operations beyond the production of fuel ethanol to produce technical grade ethanol for hand sanitizer and can produce up to 150,000 gallons per day.
• Buffalo-based HiOperator was granted $230,000 from the Western New York Power Proceeds program to support its planned $1.35 million expansion project. The company pledged to create 131 new jobs over the next five years.
The Power Proceeds fund consists of net earnings from the sale of unused hydropower generated at NYPA's Niagara power plant. Enterprises are eligible for a cash award if they are located within a 30-mile radius of the plant and are investing in business growth that leads to creation or protection of jobs.
• North Tonawanda-based Wheatfield Gardens LLC, a greenhouse operation, was granted a 306-kilowatt allocation from the ReCharge NY program, in support of a $6 million investment that comes with the promise of four new jobs. The company currently employs 15 people.