NYPA authorized to spend $31m to refurbish transmission equipment at two facilities

The New York Power Authority continues to work on upgrading its transmission system as its board of trustees recently authorized $31m to refurbish transmission system equipment at two facilities.

The board on May 21 authorized $19.6m and $11.7m for refurbishment at NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Center in Marcy, N.Y., and Massena substation in Massena, N.Y., respectively.

The board’s action stems from the recommendation in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Energy Highway Blueprint for accelerating construction and repair of the state’s aging transmission infrastructure, NYPA said.

Cuomo introduced the Energy Highway initiative in his 2012 State of the State Address. In April, the New York Energy Highway Task Force said all of the actions called for in the Blueprint to modernize the state’s energy infrastructure are moving forward on or ahead of schedule.

Of the Frederick R. Clark Energy Center project, a NYPA spokesperson told TransmissionHub on May 24, “The project entails the refurbishment of four ASEA 765/345-kV auto-transformers, three Westinghouse 765/345-kV auto-transformers, and three ASEA 765-kV reactors.”

The equipment is initially taken out of service, the spokesperson said. The vendor then performs an assessment, including an internal inspection to determine the components that need to be replaced or refurbished. Following completion of any work needed, final testing is performed before putting the equipment back into service, the spokesperson said.

The Massena project entails the refurbishment of eight ASEA 765-kV reactors. As with the Frederick R. Clark Energy Center project, the equipment is initially taken out of service and the vendor then performs an assessment, including an internal inspection to determine the components that need to be replaced or refurbished. Following completion of any work needed, final testing is performed before putting the equipment back into service, she added.

The $31m authorized on May 21, along with $119m authorized in December 2012 for transmission equipment improvements at the St. Lawrence Hydroelectric Power Plant in Massena and the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant in Lewiston, N.Y., and other projects, will be followed in coming years by upgrading and replacing transmission line structures that extend along existing transmission corridors from NYPA’s hydropower plants, NYPA said. 

Another part of NYPA’s $726m multi-year Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (TLEM) program, which Cuomo announced in December 2012, includes investing in smart grid technologies that will maximize performance of its transmission facilities, NYPA said.

The TLEM program aims to repair and rebuild NYPA’s more than 50-year-old transmission system in central, northern and western New York. NYPA’s current four-year transmission capital plan is expending about $455m, which is almost $300m more than originally projected in last year’s four-year plan.

The projects covered by the May 21 funding authorization are part of the $455m in accelerated spending, much of which is associated with the planned TLEM program, NYPA added.

Also on May 21, the board authorized $6.1m for work on its right-of-way exiting the switchyard at the St. Lawrence plant. The improvements, known as the Moses Willis Separation Project, will improve the reliability along the only major transmission corridor traveling east from the plant, NYPA added.

In January, NYPA filed a petition with state regulators requesting that a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need be amended to authorize it to build the Moses-Willis circuit separation project, located in the town of Massena in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., in order to eliminate double circuit contingency.

The proposed project includes relocating about 1.8 miles of a 230-kV overhead circuit to an adjacent series of existing structures within the same right-of-way, building four new structures in a vacant field with 2,213 feet of new 230-kV conductor and one new dead-end structure south of the Moses switchyard.

In an April order, New York state regulators approved NYPA’s request to amend the certificate.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3205 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.