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Henrietta supervisor: Development on hold due to no new available power

todayJanuary 11, 2024 4

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HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Major development projects are on hold in Henrietta, because they don’t have enough new power capacity. No current power users in the town will be affected. The town says it’s because they don’t have the transformer they need for the two RG&E substations in Henrietta.

Town Supervisor Stephe Schultz says this lack of new usable power became an issue for the town when he says a major senior living development — a Masonic care facility — was put on hold in December because they didn’t have the power.

That facility, however, said in a brief phone interview that their only delays were because of funding, and only ever received communication from RG&E regarding another issue in October.

When Schultz found out that they needed a transformer for an already existing substation to get this power, asked RG&E for one, and they said it would be three to four years and $17 million to get the town a new one.

President and CEO of RG&E and NYSEG Trish Nilsen says these are complex and custom units, and are not “plug and play;” and require years and millions of dollars to make, ship, and install. Supply chain issues have also caused a delay.

When News 8 asked why a transformer wasn’t put in with the new substation, Nilsen said:

“We’re putting in our rate design, we will put in the proposed project cost that we had, and its based on current energy growth and projected use.” A spokesperson afterwards clarified that RG&E purchases transformers on a per-project basis.

Until they get a new transformer, Schultz says they are essentially unable to accommodate any new development projects.

He says that one major development — earmarked for a new parcel south of RIT that the town is working to develop — has already packed up and left for another state because of this issue.

“These companies looking for a location, they need to expand now, they can’t wait,” Schultz said. “So they’re going to find some other location, and unfortunately a lot of times it’s no longer in Monroe County. It’s not just Henrietta that’s affected. All those places generate sales tax, they generate mortgage, property tax… A lot of is Henrietta-centric, but a lot of is county-wide.”

Beyond businesses, Schultz estimates over 1,000 new housing units and 250 jobs could be on hold because of this issue.

He says he is working with the county, various development agencies, and state lawmakers to secure funding to help with that $17 million price tag.

Assemblyman Harry Bronson is a member of the economic development committee in the legislature, and Henrietta is in his district. He has met with Schultz and the county on this issue.

He says that Henrietta’s best chance to secure funding from the state is through the “shovel ready” FAST NY fund. The fund was given $200 million to help with development projects — Bronson notes he pushed for $500 million — but he says that Empire State Development has allocated $130 million.

The $17 million ask would be a large chunk of the remaining $70 million, but Bronson believes the town has a strong case. He cites existing interest, cooperation at multiple levels of government, and how these development projects fit in with the state’s goals.

“Much of this development is about housing, whether it’s senior, individual units, townhouses… And the development fits in with our us being designated as a tech hub,” Bronson said.

Henrietta would need to apply for the funding. Bronson also says that the town could apply for the new projected $100 million that the governor announced in her State of the State address, but they would need to wait until it passes the budget in April.

Schultz suggested that RG&E should consider modifying its tariff structure at its next Public Service Commission meeting to better fund and provide infrastructure upgrades like this; adding he would be speaking to PSC himself to make it happen.

Nilsen said this could be discussed in an upcoming PSC meeting, and was open to the suggesting, adding that they need to continue to work collaboratively with towns and leaders for these adjustments.

Stay with News 8 on this developing story.

​ HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Major development projects are on hold in Henrietta, because they don’t have enough new power capacity. No current power users in the town will be affected. The town says it’s because they don’t have the transformer they need for the two RG&E substations in Henrietta.

Town Supervisor Stephe Schultz says this lack of new usable power became an issue for the town when he says a major senior living development — a Masonic care facility — was put on hold in December because they didn’t have the power.

That facility, however, said in a brief phone interview that their only delays were because of funding, and only ever received communication from RG&E regarding another issue in October.

When Schultz found out that they needed a transformer for an already existing substation to get this power, asked RG&E for one, and they said it would be three to four years and $17 million to get the town a new one.

President and CEO of RG&E and NYSEG Trish Nilsen says these are complex and custom units, and are not “plug and play;” and require years and millions of dollars to make, ship, and install. Supply chain issues have also caused a delay.

When News 8 asked why a transformer wasn’t put in with the new substation, Nilsen said:

“We’re putting in our rate design, we will put in the proposed project cost that we had, and its based on current energy growth and projected use.” A spokesperson afterwards clarified that RG&E purchases transformers on a per-project basis.

Until they get a new transformer, Schultz says they are essentially unable to accommodate any new development projects.

He says that one major development — earmarked for a new parcel south of RIT that the town is working to develop — has already packed up and left for another state because of this issue.

“These companies looking for a location, they need to expand now, they can’t wait,” Schultz said. “So they’re going to find some other location, and unfortunately a lot of times it’s no longer in Monroe County. It’s not just Henrietta that’s affected. All those places generate sales tax, they generate mortgage, property tax… A lot of is Henrietta-centric, but a lot of is county-wide.”

Beyond businesses, Schultz estimates over 1,000 new housing units and 250 jobs could be on hold because of this issue.

He says he is working with the county, various development agencies, and state lawmakers to secure funding to help with that $17 million price tag.

Assemblyman Harry Bronson is a member of the economic development committee in the legislature, and Henrietta is in his district. He has met with Schultz and the county on this issue.

He says that Henrietta’s best chance to secure funding from the state is through the “shovel ready” FAST NY fund. The fund was given $200 million to help with development projects — Bronson notes he pushed for $500 million — but he says that Empire State Development has allocated $130 million.

The $17 million ask would be a large chunk of the remaining $70 million, but Bronson believes the town has a strong case. He cites existing interest, cooperation at multiple levels of government, and how these development projects fit in with the state’s goals.

“Much of this development is about housing, whether it’s senior, individual units, townhouses… And the development fits in with our us being designated as a tech hub,” Bronson said.

Henrietta would need to apply for the funding. Bronson also says that the town could apply for the new projected $100 million that the governor announced in her State of the State address, but they would need to wait until it passes the budget in April.

Schultz suggested that RG&E should consider modifying its tariff structure at its next Public Service Commission meeting to better fund and provide infrastructure upgrades like this; adding he would be speaking to PSC himself to make it happen.

Nilsen said this could be discussed in an upcoming PSC meeting, and was open to the suggesting, adding that they need to continue to work collaboratively with towns and leaders for these adjustments.

Stay with News 8 on this developing story. Read More HenriettaRochesterFirst  

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