N.Y. Power Authority Approves Power Contract Extension For Brookhaven National Laboratory’s 10-Year Electricity Needs
The contract extension, approved by the Power Authority Board of Trustees on Dec. 13, will continue market-based energy purchases that have saved BNL — a DOE facility — more than $316 million since NYPA began meeting the laboratory’s electricity requirements in 1982. The economical market purchases under the extension will provide for that portion of the lab’s energy needs beyond 15 megawatts (MW) of low-cost hydropower that NYPA will begin supplying early next year for the facility’s exclusive use. The hydropower allotment, to be made available under a previously approved sale-for-resale agreement with the Long Island Power Authority, will be a cornerstone for the new world-class particle accelerator at Brookhaven — the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) project — scheduled to be completed in 2015.
“Our partnership with Brookhaven for its continued supply of lower cost electricity attests to the far-reaching importance of the laboratory’s work in nuclear physics, basic energy sciences and other cutting-edge Department of Energy research,” said Michael J. Townsend, NYPA chairman. “This is crystallized by the nearly billion-dollar NSLS II project, which will also contribute to the already significant impact that the laboratory has on New York State’s economy. Projects like this don’t come along every day, so we’re gratified to be making a difference in supporting it and the other scientific projects that BNL competes for.”
“We recognize the enormous benefits of Brookhaven National Laboratory, not only as a preeminent, world-renowned scientific facility but as a major contributor to the Long Island and New York State economies, with its annual expenditures and those of its employees roughly $1 billion,” Kessel said. “The electricity-intensive research activities at Brookhaven heighten the importance of the measures that we’ve undertaken in arranging for NYPA hydropower—some of the lowest-cost power in the country — and the continued supply of economical power from other sources. The approval by our trustees last week of a power contract extension for the lab’s full electricity requirements will keep up the savings that this major employer has enjoyed over the more than two-and-a-half decades of its being served by the New York Power Authority.”
“This agreement represents the height of cooperation between the Federal and State governments for the good of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Long Island,” said Mike Holland, Manager of the DOE’s Brookhaven Site Office. “Affordable power supports research and development jobs for Long Island, and that means scientific and technological advancement for the U.S.”
“I want to express our sincere appreciation to the New York Power Authority board and Richie Kessel and his staff for their work to secure economical power for Brookhaven Lab for the next decade,” said Michael J. Bebon, Deputy Director for Operations at BNL. “The energy market purchases that NYPA will continue to make on our behalf — along with the low-priced hydropower it will provide from its own power generation facilities — will put us in a good position to continue to successfully compete with other Department of Energy laboratories for new scientific missions. In fact, the hydropower commitment was essential to DOE’s selection of BNL as the site for the NSLS II project and in keeping the construction of the project on track. Continued access to low-cost power will also maximize the scientific output of our major user facilities by enabling them to run longer each year, bringing more scientific users to Long Island and creating additional high-tech jobs at BNL.”
The more-than $900 million NSLS II, which will result in a peak construction workforce of up 1,200 during the ongoing building phase, will provide new research capability — unique in the world — enabling breakthrough science in energy and materials research. The facility, which will produce intense beams of x-rays, will lead to several hundred new permanent jobs at the laboratory, which currently employs more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff.
Over 3,000 visiting researchers from universities, industry and other research institutions use the Upton laboratory’s advanced science facilities each year, with approximately one-third from New York institutions and businesses from various parts of the state. These organizations include the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Other enterprises include Corning, General Electric Global Research Center in Niskayuna and IBM Research Division in Yorktown Heights.
The approved power contract extension will commence on Jan. 1, allowing NYPA to meet BNL’s electricity demand of up to 77 MW with a blended mix of market energy purchases and hydropower. Together with the previously approved hydropower resale contract, which also is for 10 years, it will substantially lower Brookhaven’s electricity costs, compared to what the lab would have otherwise paid.
Both agreements include options for extension of the contract period for an additional five years, through 2025.
BNL is one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the DOE’s Office of Science.
- The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.
- NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.
- It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.
- Nearly 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.
- For more information see the NYPA website.