The contracts, totalling 29MW, were signed with Western New York municipal bodies, the Tuscarora Nation and Niagara University. Contracts were agreed as part of a settlement under the re-licensing process for the Niagara hydro scheme, and they end in 2025 which is in line with the plant’s other contracts with communities and federally approved allocations.

Niagara is the largest of New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) 18 power plants and is also the single largest generation facility in the state. It was given its first licence in 1958 and earlier this year was issued a new 50-year licence by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

NYPA said that the annual savings for the contract partners would amount to hundreds of thousands of US dollars for each assigned MW due to the current levels of wholesale electricity prices.

In a statement, governor Spitzer said: ‘These agreements will help fuel the local economy and support the community in years to come.’