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Jan. 11, 2005

Oswego County Offers Low-Cost Power to Businesses that Create New Jobs

Oswego County's Public Utility Service is now offering low-cost electrical energy to new and expanding businesses in Oswego County. The goal of the low-cost power program is to create jobs using low-cost electricity produced by Entergy Nuclear Northeast at the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba.

The Oswego County Public Utility Service will allocate up to 10 megawatts of low-cost power per year for the next five years. Entergy is providing the electrical power as part of the tax agreement for the FitzPatrick plant.

"This exciting new program is unique for a local government," said County Legislature Chairman Russ Johnson, District 25, Fulton. "It provides a substantial cost savings to new and expanding businesses that create jobs in Oswego County. Any unallocated power can be used by local governments and school districts to save on their energy costs."

County Legislator Greg Osetek, Vice Chairman of the Legislature and an ex-officio member of the Oswego County Public Utility Service board, said it is "one of the most exciting projects that Oswego County has ever undertaken."

"Business and industry in New York State frequently cite the relatively high cost of energy as an obstacle in their ability to compete," he said. "Eligible businesses in Oswego County will be able to purchase power at a rate that is well below the current market rate."

Entergy Nuclear Northeast will provide up to 10 megawatts of electricity a year, at $32 per megawatt-hour, between 2005 and 2010. Current day-ahead prices range between $45 and $50 per megawatt-hour.

"As part of the PILOT agreement and Entergy's commitment to the community, we are pleased to offer low-cost power to boost the county's economic growth by helping to attract new jobs and new business," said Marc Potkin, Entergy Nuclear Northeast's Director of Business Development. "Low-cost power will contribute to the economic stability of Oswego County for the future."

Businesses may request an allocation through the Oswego County Public Utility Service. Applicants are asked to provide detailed information about the new project they are undertaking, their job creation plans, and their power usage requirements. To be eligible, businesses must meet certain minimum usage requirements and commit to create permanent new jobs.

The County Legislature has appointed a Public Utility Board to review applications and select eligible businesses. Preference will be given to businesses that are not eligible for other low-cost power programs.

"The citizens selected for the board are a talented group with excellent insight," said board chairman Andrew Curran Jr. of Hannibal. "Their expertise includes facility management, business development, and various facets of the energy industry. Applications for electricity allocations will be reviewed thoroughly, with impartiality, and with an eye on the future economic benefits to the community."

In addition to Curran, board members include County Legislator Osetek (District 15, Oswego), Jerry DeSantis, David Buske, Lawrence Perras, James Hotchkiss, Dale Currier, and Daniel Dougherty.

"This low cost power allocation is a unique incentive in upstate New York that could be structured in economic development finance packages to expand and compliment existing incentive programs such as the Empire Zone program, Industrial Development Agency and Small Business Administration financing, and Empire State Development and Niagara Mohawk economic development funding programs," said L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, executive director of Operation Oswego County, Oswego County's designated economic development agency.

Legislature Chairman Johnson noted that Oswego County citizens are already benefiting from this program.

"One of the goals of this program is to reduce the burden of high energy costs on county taxpayers. Oswego County government and the City of Oswego are already using unallocated power to reduce their energy costs," he said. Other municipalities and school districts in Oswego County are also eligible to use low-cost power until all 10 megawatts are allocated to business. All municipalities in Oswego County have been invited to participate.

"This is an opportunity for local governments to temporarily lower their electricity costs and pass the savings on to taxpayers," said Legislator Osetek. "As power allocations are made to businesses, allocations to government will be reduced."

Select Energy, a leading provider of energy solutions in the Northeastern U.S., has been chosen by Oswego County to administer the low-cost power program on behalf of the county.

Annette Durnack, Select Energy vice president, NY Sales and Marketing said, "Select Energy is thrilled to be a part of such an innovative program that will provide benefits and grow jobs in Oswego County."

Businesses, municipalities and school districts that are interested in applying should contact Select Energy through its agent, Natural Gas Business Associates of Liverpool, phone 453-2482.

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