BPU Board Approves New SKF Flex Rate Agreement

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will continue its flex-rate agreement with SKF Aeroengine of Falconer.

During the BPU Board meeting Tuesday, board members approved a new four-year agreement with SKF to lower their electric rate through the BPU’s flex-rate tariff program.

The first agreement was done in 2007 and then renewed in 2009. The contract was set to expire on Oct. 31. The flex-rate tariff was developed by the BPU and approved by the state Public Service Commission to help the Jamestown area attract new industry and also to support existing commercial and industrial customers.

Participating manufacturers commit to retain a certain number of jobs and to continue to invest in their facilities in exchange for reduced energy costs. The flex-rate tariff program is designed with the objectives of local economic preservation and development. SKF Aeroengine Falconer, formerly known as MRC Bearings, is located on Maroco Road in Falconer, and is predominately involved in the manufacture of aerospace bearings for engines, gearboxes, helicopter transmissions and related applications.

David Leathers, BPU general manager, said there are four BPU flex-rate industrial customers. He said the reduced electric rate is a positive contribution for all the companies.

“It makes a big difference to their bottom line,” he said.

In the new contract, two SKF facilities will be included in the one agreement. SKF added its new heat treat facility to the program in March 2011. The new agreement is structured to combine both of the Falconer facilities into the single agreement.

Frederick A. Larson, BPU board member, said the contract to offer SKF a better rate is another example of how city electric is keeping businesses in the local area.

“It is a tribute to the city of Jamestown to be so willing to offer its utility,” he said.