The Governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, has announced an allocation  of low-cost hydropower to Sumitomo Rubber USA in Erie County, in a move expected to support $87 million in capital investments and create 30 jobs in the US state.

The 1.5MW hydropower allocation allows Sumitomo to enhance its operations in the Town of Tonawanda. The two-phase expansion project includes the addition of more than 100,000 square feet of new production space, which will enable the firm to increase passenger tire production from 5,000 tires per day to 10,000 tires per day. The improvements at the plant also include use of a wide array of energy-saving technology, including the installation of energy efficient air compressors and LED lighting.

"By providing clean, inexpensive Niagara hydropower to manufacturers in Western New York, we drive job growth and economic development throughout the region," Governor Cuomo said. "Sumitomo’s expansion in Tonawanda will create jobs and help support our efforts to build a sustainable, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers."

Sumitomo currently receives 12 MW of low-cost NYPA hydropower, which supports roughly 1240 jobs and $5.1 million annual capital investment from the firm.

Tim Noe, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for Sumitomo Rubber USA, said, “We are excited to undertake this expansion project and expect that this is the start of more great things to come in the future. I want to extend my thanks to Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority for their continued support of Sumitomo’s expansion in Western New York.”

The hydropower allocation is provided under a seven-year contract and drawn from blocks of power from New York Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project. Low-cost Niagara hydropower is reserved for companies within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara power plant or for businesses in Chautauqua County. Hydropower allocations are already linked to thousands of jobs in those regions.