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NY paper mill plans to cut energy costs with water power - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NY paper mill plans to cut energy costs with water power

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TICONDEROGA, N.Y. -

The International Paper Mill in Ticonderoga, New York, is getting help from New York State to cut costs and keep business going strong. IP is looking for low-cost, sustainable energy, and New York is providing water power for cleaner, greener energy.

"Half of it is hydro-power, a total of 900 megawatts. One megawatt is the power required to light up about 800 to 1,000 homes," said New York Power Authority President Gil Quiniones.

IP is the largest employer is Essex County, and is just 1 of 21 businesses in the North Country that will benefit from this low-cost energy plan. With the potential energy savings from hydroelectricity and also the natural gas from the proposed Addison-Rutland pipeline, supporters of the pipeline say the communities on both sides of Lake Champlain will benefit from the Ticonderoga Mill.

"It's a no-brainer. Cut carbon footprint by 30 to 40 percent. Save energy costs up to 50 percent," said Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Bill Grinnell.

Grinnell says the natural gas pipeline will secure the mill's future with 600 jobs at IP and the other 600 loggers and truckers who supply the plant. They hope it will keep them employed.

"I can go back to these good people who are friends of mine and say yes, we do have a future here at IP," said Arnold Ross from IP.

But those opposed to the pipeline fear it could hurt the environment and worry about safety. Proponents of the pipeline say natural gas will be less harmful than crude oil currently used to power the mill.

"From an environmental point, from an economic point, it just makes sense," said Grinnell.

The proposed pipeline is meeting a lot of controversy from the towns in Vermont it would run though. The Addison County Regional Planning Commission voted to support the pipeline. The Vermont Public Service Board plans to discuss the pros and cons of the natural gas pipeline next week at Shoreham Elementary School.

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