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NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY TO RENEGOTIATE CONTRACT WITH HYDRO-QUEBEC

   NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY TO RENEGOTIATE CONTRACT WITH HYDRO-QUEBEC
    NEW YORK, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Power Authority Chairman Richard M. Flynn told a New York City civic group Friday that he would not sign any contract to purchase Canadian hydroelectricity unless the agreement meets three criteria: the power costs less than other supplies, it's needed and it's environmentally positive compared with the alternatives.
    "We are now renegotiating our contract with Hydro-Quebec," said Flynn. "It's still uncertain what the terms will be, but I am determined to make sure it is beneficial for New York consumers."
    Speaking at a meeting of the City Club, held at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Flynn said it was important to keep the Hydro-Quebec option available for New York.
    "There are those who would have us walk away from the Quebec power now--before we've done our reviews here, before we've given the Canadian environmental process a chance and before we've disclosed the renegotiated contract terms," said Flynn. "So I'm asking that the City Club approve a resolution calling for the Quebec option to be kept open."
    Flynn said he is "confident that sophisticated review forums are in place on both sides of the border and the interests of all concerned will be fairly protected."
    He said that in addition to the Power Authority's economic review of the proposed purchase, several state agencies, under instructions from Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, are analyzing the economics of Quebec hydropower compared with other options and the environmental consequences to New York of not buying the power.
    Flynn said significant progress has been made in Canada on environmental review of Hydro-Quebec's proposed Great Whale power project in the James Bay region of northern Quebec.
    "The federal government, the government of Quebec and the Cree and Inuit peoples who live in the region have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to coordinate their environmental assessments of Great Whale," he said.  "And Hydro-Quebec and the governments have committed funds to assure full participation by the Native Peoples."
    Flynn said he had negotiated an 11-month delay, through November, in final approval of the Power Authority's contract because New York's energy outlook had changed significantly since 1989 when the agreement to purchase 1 million kilowatts from Hydro-Quebec was negotiated.
    "The most important change," he said, "is that conservation has emerged as a major source of new electricity for the state.  The 1991 New York Power Pool plan shows a 79 percent increase in the projected long-term role of conservation, compared with the 1990 plan."
    Flynn said the Quebec power will help to improve the New York area's air quality by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels in power plants.
    -0-                       2/21/92
    /CONTACT:  Jack Murphy of New York Power Authority, 212-468-6319/ CO:  New York Power Authority ST:  New York IN:  UTI SU: SM -- NY048 -- 1447 02/21/92 14:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 21, 1992
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