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New York Power Authority Transmission Rebuild Effort Advances

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced that significant progress has been made on the Smart Path Connect transmission project, a transmission rebuild effort in two key state transmission corridors, led by the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

The Smart Path Connect project will modernize more than 100 miles of transmission lines in the North County and the Mohawk Valley.

The Nov. 21 announcement celebrates the energization of more than half of Smart Path Connect’s upgraded transmission lines, including 36 miles in the Mohawk Valley and 38 in the North Country.

When complete, the upgraded and new energy infrastructure will allow for increased power transfer capacity, enable the flow of more renewable energy, and enhance reliability and resiliency of the state power grid while at the same time advancing goals outlined in the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Hochul’s office said.

Hochul announced the start of this project late last year.

Smart Path Connect includes rebuilding approximately 45 miles of transmission eastward from Massena to the Town of Clinton, led by the New York Power Authority and rebuilding approximately 55 miles of transmission southward from Croghan to Marcy led by National Grid NY. The work involves construction of several new substations as well as upgrades to several existing substations.

When completed, the two Smart Path Connect segments will be connected by Smart Path, NYPA’s rebuild of the Moses to Adirondack transmission lines which was energized earlier this year.

The two lines will form one continuous 345 kV transmission line between Clinton and Oneida Counties, reinforcing the statewide grid and connecting renewable energy into the power system including power from newly constructed and proposed renewable energy sources. Like Smart Path, Smart Path Connect falls primarily within existing transmission rights-of-way in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oneida counties.

Once complete, the Smart Path Connect project will help unbottle existing renewable resources in the region and yield significant production cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreases in transmission congestion, Hochul’s office said.

NYPA estimates the project will provide more than $447 million in annual congestion savings in northern New York and the project has created hundreds of clean energy jobs during construction.

“New York State is currently experiencing the largest buildout of transmission in forty years,” NYPA President and CEO Justin Driscoll said. “Not only are these investments critical to the safety and functionality of the lines, but they are needed to ensure the transmission system is able to adapt to increasingly severe storms and to meet the growing energy demands of our modern society.”

He noted that transmission development focus is a foundational part of NYPA’s VISION2030 strategic plan.

“The energization of several sections of the Smart Path Connect line helps bring the state that much closer to meeting its bold climate goals and strengthens our emerging clean energy economy,” Driscoll said.

In addition to Smart Path and Smart Path Connect, several other New York State transmission projects are progressing toward completion or are completed and in service.

These include NYPA and LS Power New York's Central East Energy Connect project which involves the rebuild and expansion of nearly 100 miles of historically heavily congested transmission lines in the Utica/Albany corridor.

Two recently energized transmission lines are New York Transco's New York Energy Solution, which rebuilt approximately 54 miles of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley, and NextEra Energy Transmission New York's Empire State Line Project which built approximately 20 miles in Western New York.

In addition, several other large transmission projects are either underway or awaiting permitting. The Champlain Hudson Power Express Transmission Project, developed by Transmission Developers Inc., celebrated its halfway milestone earlier this summer and Clean Path New York, a project developed through a collaboration between NYPA and Forward Power (a joint venture of Invenergy and energyRe) and Propel New York Energy, a collaboration between NYPA and N.Y. Transco.

All told, New York’s transmission investments total nearly 1,000 miles of new and upgraded New York State transmission lines.

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