New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on June 20 announced the completion and successful energization of the New York Power Authority's Smart Path clean energy transmission infrastructure project.
The Smart Path project is an upgrade of 78 miles of transmission lines that span from Massena in St. Lawrence County to Croghan in Lewis County.
With fewer poles made of steel instead of the original wood, the project will harden the lines against weather events and enable the secure transmission of clean energy from northern New York into the state's electric power grid.
Smart Path's rebuilt lines can transmit up to 345 kilovolts. They will be operated in the near-term at the 230 kV level until the completion of the Smart Path Connect project. Together the lines are currently rated to carry 900 megawatts during the winter months.
Increasing the voltage is a cost-effective way to add more renewable power, especially from in-state renewable generation, anywhere along the transmission line.
The $484 million Smart Path project involved the replacement of the original H-frame wood poles, some of which are more than 80 years old with 776 new single steel monopoles in the existing right of way.
The rebuilding of the lines followed the original project's path, but for a small area on the SUNY Canton campus, where the line was rerouted around recreation and sports fields that were developed as the campus grew.
The work involved the installation of high-voltage transmission lines from Massena to Croghan which were strung by helicopter.
Justin Driscoll, NYPA acting president and CEO, joined State University of New York at Canton President Zvi Szafran, Mark Harasha, President of Michels Construction and state and local officials on the SUNY Canton campus to mark the project's completion.
The New York Power Authority is also working with National Grid on a separate but connected transmission project involving the rebuild of approximately 100 miles of transmission lines in the North Country and the Mohawk Valley.
The project, known as Smart Path Connect, runs East-West from Clinton to Massena and North-South from Croghan to Marcy. When completed, the two segments of Smart Path Connect will join the Smart Path project, creating one continuous upgraded transmission line from Clinton to Marcy.
The Smart Path Connect project kicked off construction late last year.
In addition to the Smart Path and Smart Path Connect, NYPA is also working with LS Power Grid New York on the Central East Energy Connect transmission project, involving the rebuild of approximately 90 miles of transmission through a heavily congested transmission corridor between the Mohawk Valley and the Capital Region.
NYPA is also working in collaboration with energyRe and Invenergy on Clean Path NY, an $11 billion clean energy and infrastructure project that will deliver more than 7.5 million megawatt hours of clean energy into New York City every year.
NYPA owns and operates approximately one third of New York's high voltage power lines. The lines transmit power from NYPA's three large hydroelectric generation facilities and independent wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy to New York State's power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,300 megawatts of hydroelectric power and about 700 megawatts, or more than a third, of New York State generated wind energy to the grid.
NYPA's transmission projects will join several additional New York State transmission projects in various stages of construction including New York Transco's New York Energy Solution which involves the rebuild of approximately 54 miles of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley and Champlain Hudson Power Express Transmission Project developed by Transmission Developers Inc. All these projects will help deliver more clean energy across New York State.