The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and National Grid NY recently announced the approval of a transmission line build in the North Country, known as Smart Path Connect.
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the 100-mile transmission line project at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Aug. 11.
Smart Path Connect is a multi-faceted project that includes: completion of the second phase of NYPA's Smart Path Moses-Adirondack rebuild; building approximately 45 miles of transmission eastward from Massena to the Town of Clinton, known as the Northern Alignment; and building approximately 55 miles of transmission southward from Croghan to Marcy, known as the Southern Alignment; and several substations along the impacted transmission corridor.
The work falls primarily within existing transmission rights-of-way in in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oneida counties. The rebuilt lines will connect renewable energy into the statewide power system, including low-cost hydropower from NYPA's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project as well as power from newly constructed and proposed renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
The project, then known as the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project, was identified in 2020 as a priority transmission project that should move forward expeditiously under New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act.
The project was approved for acceleration in order to help the state meet its climate and clean energy goals set forth in the Climate Act, enacted in July 2019, which calls for a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality.
NYPA said the project will help unbottle existing renewable resources in the region, and also will yield significant production cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreases in transmission congestion. NYPA estimates the project will provide more than $447 million in annual congestion savings in northern New York.
In addition to Smart Path and Smart Path Connect, several other New York State transmission line rebuild projects, as well as new transmission projects, are on deck for construction and in various stages of the permitting process.
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; New York Transco's New York Energy Solution which involves the rebuild of approximately 54 miles of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley and NextEra Energy Transmission New York's recently completed and energized Empire State Line Project of approximately 20 miles of transmission in Western New York.
Construction on Smart Path Connect is expected to begin sometime this Fall.