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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 29, 2009


Proctors Expansion Project Has Already Increased Attendance at Theatre and Spurred Economic Development Across the County

Next Phase of Project Ready to Start Would Allow Proctors to Expand Sale of Excess Cheap Heating and Cooling to Neighboring Buildings. Would Help Expansion for Theatre and Help Other Businesses Expand Move Downtown

Providing Cheap Heating and Cooling Services Would Allow Businesses To Move Downtown, Focus on Expansion and Hiring

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, as the final stop on his record eleventh-in-a-row 62 county tour, visited the recently expanded Proctors Theatre in Schenectady County.  At the event, Schumer highlighted Proctors for the cutting edge green energy project they are engaged in, and pledged to fight for resources so the project can be completed.  When finished, Proctors Theatre will be able to generate about half of the electricity it uses every year, saving millions of dollars and reducing demand on the electrical grid during peak hours.  They will also be able to expand the sale of cheap heating and cooling services to neighboring buildings, allowing those businesses to focus on expansion and hiring.  The money that the alternative energy generation will save every year can then be used to maintain the theatre as the hub of downtown redevelopment, paving the way for job creation and revitalization. 


“The whole point of the 62 county tour is to see firsthand the ways that I can help make New York State its very best,” said Schumer. “After touring Proctors it is clear the economic potential of the facility and I will fight for funds to help the Theatre complete its expansion in order to help bring enhanced growth to Downtown Schenectady.”


Eleven years ago Senator Schumer pledged to visit all 62 counties in New York every year. Schumer believes that visiting each county enables him to see firsthand what issues are most important to his constituents. Last year, during Senator Schumer’s visit to Schenectady County, he toured the ice storm damage in Niskyauna and helped secure $11 million in disaster aid for New York State from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Of that funding, Schumer secured $1.6 million for Schenectady County.   


This year, Senator Schumer completed his tour in Schenectady County at the Proctors Theatre.  Proctors recently completed a $32 million expansion that has helped attract more people per year to its facilities in downtown Schenectady and has spurred economic development and expansion throughout downtown Schenectady.


The Theatre is also a major user of electricity with its two theatres and indoor retail arcade in 180,000 square feet of space.  As part of the Theatre expansion project, Proctors has also built a $9.5 million District Heating and Cooling Plant (DHCP) to serve its needs and the needs of the redeveloping downtown.  


Currently, the DHCP heats and cools Proctors, the adjacent Hampton Inn, Center City (a multi-use office, retail and recreational building) as well as melts snow on an entire city block.   Proctors will be adding electricity generation capabilities to the plant as well, by using what are known as micro turbines.  The goal is to reduce the power demand from the grid, especially during the peak weekday working hours. These micro turbines will supply about half of Proctors’ power needs and reduce electric use through the local utility, National Grid.  The theatre also has plans to expand the number of buildings they sell heating and cooling services to.  Schumer today pledged to explore federal funding options to help Proctors expand its customer base. 


Most of the waste heat from the micro turbines will be used in creating hot or chilled water to run the heating and cooling systems serving Proctors’ customers, thus reducing their costs. Users of the system, in addition to saving capital money for their own boilers and chillers, will benefit from lower total operating costs and generate no additional green house gases themselves.


Proctors currently has possession of the 240 kW cogeneration system, but additional engineering work is needed to make them serve the intended goal.  They want to expand the project and operate a co-generation plant that would create energy.


Schumer noted that Proctors’ ability to help build downtown and bring in revenue by providing heating and cooling to a number of neighboring businesses is a laudable achievement but more must be done to help them continue their expansion. 


Today, standing at Proctors, Schumer announced that he will do everything he can to secure federal funding for the project.


He said “Now that I have seen the project firsthand I can clearly see the economic benefits that expansion could bring to Downtown Schenectady and I will continue to look for ways to help advance the project.”


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