NYPA resumes work on projects that were suspended due to pandemic

The New York Power Authority has resumed work on certain projects that were suspended so that the Authority could focus on the continued safe operation of its power plants and transmission system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several large NYPA projects were underway when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York PAUSE as the COVID virus began to appear in New York State.

At that time, NYPA suspended various types of non-critical repair work and capital project work and focused on the continued safe operation of its power plants and transmission system.

NYPA recently reported that several of its North Country projects are in various stages of restarting.

The Authority has restarted work on a vital transmission infrastructure project to rebuild and strengthen the Moses-Adirondack transmission lines, an 86-mile line running North-South through St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties in the North Country.

The project, known as the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, supports Cuomo’s plan to modernize New York’s energy system

NYPA has also restarted work on a project to restore a small hydroelectric power plant that feeds power to the Village of Potsdam. 

NYPA is providing approximately $4 million in financing and technical assistance to the village for the overhaul and upgrade of their hydro facility, which is expected to be back in service by the end of the year.

NYPA has also resumed work on a $5.6 million concrete rehabilitation project at the Massena Intake. The project consists of replacing the concrete roadway deck and sidewalks and the installation of a railing system.

Meanwhile, NYPA has set a target date of mid-July to restart work on its North Country Battery Storage Project.

NYPA will resume work shortly on a $29.8 million, 20-megawatt battery storage demonstration facility adjacent to an existing substation in Franklin County. 

The project, which is anticipated to be in service by the end of the year, supports the state’s nation-leading 3,000 MW by 2030 storage goal. 

NYPA identifies projects in the Mohawk Valley region

NYPA has also identified several capital and operations and maintenance projects in the Mohawk Valley region that are safely restarting under Cuomo’s NY Forward plan.

Major work on several of these projects was underway when Cuomo announced New York PAUSE.

Workers in the Power Authority’s Marcy switchyard are continuing with the installation of new circuit breakers. These large pieces of equipment are used to automatically interrupt the flow of power after a fault is detected and to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Workers will be installing a new 765-kV circuit breaker. 

The work is part of NYPA’s $726 million comprehensive Transmission Life Extension and Modernization program to extend the life of NYPA’s transmission assets across the state.

Work is also continuing with the construction of a new NYPA visitors center next to the Utica Zoo. When completed, the admission-free, interactive science and technology education and entertainment center -- focused on electricity -- promises to be a great draw for local community members and tourists alike with state-of-the-art exhibits and STEM programming for community schools, NYPA noted.

The project is back on track after a brief hiatus and is moving forward with external and internal work. The center is on track to open in 2021. 

NYPA is continuing to take proactive measures to guard against COVID-19 

NYPA noted that it is continuing to take proactive measures to protect the health of its employees, and communities in which it operates, by limiting situations in the virus can be transmitted.

Employees are surveyed daily for wellness and are asked to stay home if they are displaying signs of illness.

Health checks require both NYPA employees and contractors to answer questions regarding themselves and their families, related to physical symptoms associated with COVID. Depending on the work situation, additional personal protective equipment will be worn as warranted for the health and safety of its workers, customers and the general public.

Through an Incident Command Structure, NYPA continues to monitor the pandemic and will make adjustments to these precautions as necessary.