NYPA to build, own, operate Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability project

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 21 announced plans to rebuild 78 miles of power transmission infrastructure in the North Country, according to a July 21 statement.

A New York Power Authority (NYPA) spokesperson on July 24 told TransmissionHub that NYPA would build, own, and operate the project.

According to the statement, the newly rebuilt transmission line, called the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability project, would help New York meet the governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which mandates that 50% of the state’s consumed electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2030.

All construction is expected to take place on existing rights of way (ROWs) in order to minimize the impact on the environment as well as adjacent property and landowners, the statement noted, adding that the project would pursue an expedited permitting approach available to upgrades that do not expand ROWs.

The spokesperson said that the major permit required for the transmission line project is an Article VII Certificate from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC).

“The Article VII application is anticipated to be filed the first quarter of 2018,” the spokesperson added.

According to the statement, construction on the project is slated to begin in 2019.

The spokesperson noted that construction is expected to be complete in 2023, and that the line is expected to be in service by 2024.

The $440m rebuild of the Moses-Adirondack transmission artery includes replacing 78 of the 86 miles on each of two transmission lines that were originally built by the federal government in 1942, and acquired by NYPA in 1953, according to the statement. The transmission lines run from Massena in St. Lawrence County, to a substation in the Town of Croghan in Lewis County, the statement noted.

The spokesperson said that the two transmission lines originally built by the federal government were known as the Taylorville-Massena transmission line. Today, the lines, which NYPA owns, are called the Moses-Adirondack 1 and Moses-Adirondack 2 transmission lines, the spokesperson said.

The lines are still supported in many areas by outmoded wooden poles that would be replaced with new steel monopole structures, the statement noted, adding that the new structures and conductors would be capable of transmitting up to 345 kilovolts, but would be operated in the near term at the current level of 230 kV.

The ability to increase the voltage when the demand requires is a cost-effective way to unlock more renewable power, especially in-state renewable generation and imports of hydro from Canada, to anywhere along the line, as New York continues to advance its clean energy goals, according to the statement.

When completed, the project would “run north to south through St. Lawrence and Lewis counties carrying 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,” according to the statement.

NYPA worked with transmission owners in New York, including Con Ed, NYSEG, the Long Island Power Authority, National Grid, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric, to obtain concurrence on the Smart Path design to support long-term expansion of renewable energy development, the statement noted.

The statement also noted that as envisioned in Cuomo’s New York Energy Highway Blueprint, which was released in 2012, the investment in transmission will enable more effective and efficient clean energy power flows across the state’s electric grid and foster more robust competitive wholesale energy markets. The 2012 Energy Highway has evolved into the Clean Energy Highway, which along with the Clean Energy Standard, is ensuring clean and cost-effective energy is available to all New Yorkers, according to the statement.

Early progress on the Clean Energy Highway has already been realized with the completion of several transmission projects, including the Marcy South Series Compensation Project and the Ramapo to Rock Tavern projects, according to the statement.

There are also two additional transmission solutions under evaluation for western New York as well as the Central East and Upstate-Southeast regions, the statement noted, adding that the PSC also has an open process to evaluate the need for further transmission development across the state.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3054 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.