Greenhouse project to receive low-cost power, incentives

Published Jan 3, 2018 at 4:00pm

ONEIDA — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s ReCharge NY program will provide Green Empire Farms in Oneida with 6,500 kilowatts of power to the company free of charge, and the energy costs will be coupled with other savings to help the company hire an estimated 65 employees.

Green Empire Farms, Inc. is a hydroponic greenhouse farm that will be established in Oneida. Its parent company is Michigan-based Mastronardi Produce - USA, Inc. which is a leader in the U.S. greenhouse industry. It is one of 29 businesses and nonprofit organizations to receive a total of 19.1 megawatts of low-cost power throughout the state.

“The company is planning to acquire 260 acres of farmland within Oneida to construct climate-controlled greenhouse facilities that will allow for year-round growth of various fruits and vegetables,” New York Power Authority spokesman Paul DeMichele said.

The project consists of two phases located on the Elm Street development site in Oneida. This includes 64 acres of hydroponic greenhouse under glass between Oneida and Wampsville. Developers have entered into a purchase and sale agreement with land owners. Mastronardi Produce is seeking a 20-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement, and is also seeking a fixed assessment with Madison County.

Energy savings

Recharge NY is administered by the New York Power Association, and its goal is to spur economic development by providing low-cost power to businesses and other entities that agree to retain or create jobs and commit to new capital spending

Cuomo’s administration launched the program in 2011, and now the Recharge NY program is providing power to 744 businesses and not-for-profit organizations, creating and retaining jobs, and sparking capital investment in regions throughout New York.

This most recent approval, state officials say, is expected to spur $1.4 billion in new capital investment in the state and create 1,006 new jobs.

“Since the beginning of this administration, ReCharge NY continues to have great success keeping New Yorkers working and helping to spur investments in every corner of this state,” Cuomo said. “Not only has the low-cost power program supported hundreds of thousands of workers, but it continues to create new jobs and encourage growth across New York.”

ReCharge NY Lauded

Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said ReCharge NY will help state businesses thrive by reducing energy costs.

“One of the biggest obstacles to economic development in our state is the burdensome cost of energy,” he said. “By providing low-cost power to businesses, manufacturers and nonprofit organizations willing to invest in New York State, the ReCharge NY program is helping to fuel job growth across the state.”

Since 2011, ReCharge NY has provided more than 770 megawatts to 697 business operations and 76 nonprofit organizations. For reference, one megawatt is enough power to meet the needs of roughly 800 typical homes.

“I am glad that this program continues to lessen the expense of doing business and creating jobs in New York,” Griffo said.

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