NYPA transmission project to boost reliability, renewables

The New York Power Authority on April 5 said that it has filed an application with the New York State Department of Public Service for the planned rebuild of the Moses to Adirondack transmission lines in Northern New York.

The project is expected to further strengthen the reliability of the state’s electric power grid and enable more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system for distribution throughout the state, NYPA said. NYPA filed what’s known as an Article VII application.

NYPA said the major transmission system rebuild project will help accelerate the state’s progress in meeting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard goal that calls for 50 percent of New York's consumed electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

NYPA’s proposed Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project will use existing rights of way to rebuild 86 miles of transmission lines, including 78 miles that were constructed originally by the federal government in 1942 and acquired by the Power Authority in 1950.

Running north to south through St. Lawrence and Lewis counties in the North Country, the lines 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 renewable energy sources.

NYPA noted that the rebuilt lines will be capable of transmitting up to 345 kilovolts, but will be operated in the near-term at the current operating level of 230 kV. Together the lines are currently rated to carry 900 megawatts during the winter months.

The ability to increase the voltage when the demand requires it is a cost-effective way to add on more renewable power, especially from in-state renewable generation, anywhere along the transmission line, as New York continues to advance its clean energy goals, NYPA said.

The Smart Path project supports the long-term expansion of renewable energy development and is an important building block in Cuomo's Energy Highway Blueprint initiative.

Project managers held a series of public meetings in February to solicit feedback from landowners and the general public on the project design.

The PSC’s Article VII review process examines the environmental, public health and safety impacts for major electric transmission projects.

During the process, the PSC, other state agencies and the general public are given an opportunity to scrutinize the design and provide input on the proposed rebuild of the transmission lines, NYPA noted.

The process is expected to conclude with the PSC’s issuance of a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Smart Path project sometime within the next year.