NYPA board approves funding for rebuild of north-south transmission artery

The New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees has approved $9.1 million for the initial engineering and permitting and licensing phase of a planned project to rebuild the power authority’s major north-south transmission line.

Completion of the project, known as the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, “will help to further strengthen the reliability of New York state’s electric power grid and allow more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system throughout the state,” NYPA said in an Oct. 10 news release.

The upgraded line also will help accelerate the state’s progress in meeting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which calls for 50 percent of the electricity consumed in New York to come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030, the power authority said.

The NYPA board approved the funding for the transmission line rebuild at its Sept. 26 meeting.

“These transmission lines were the power authority’s very first asset, originally built in 1942, and, while NYPA’s crews have done a great job maintaining them over the years to keep the electricity flowing, it is now time for replacement and modernization,” said NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel.

“The NYPA Board of Trustees’ action is another step forward in making the Smart Path, a major public infrastructure investment, a reality,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO.

“The Smart Path is an important piece of helping to realize Gov. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for building a cleaner, more reliable energy system for New York,” said Quiniones. “We are pleased that the board has approved this next step for the project.”

This funding announcement follows Gov. Cuomo’s announcement in July that the state would move forward with the plan to rebuild the 78-mile stretch of transmission artery. Prior to approving this most recent funding, NYPA’s board previously approved $9.4 million for earlier phases of the project, which is expected to cost $440 million.

The new funding will help to support additional engineering work as well as permitting and licensing of the new lines, NYPA said.

When completed, the Smart Path will run north to south through St. Lawrence and Lewis counties. It will carry “economical, clean and renewable energy, including low-cost hydropower from NYPA's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project and power from newly constructed wind farms, solar power projects and other large-scale renewable energy sources, from upstate to high-energy demand areas downstate,” NYPA said in the news release.

The project is expected to support nearly 2,000 jobs during its construction, the power authority noted.

Details about the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project are available here.