NYPA: Trustees approve $9.1m for initial engineering, permitting, licensing phase of project

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Oct. 10 said that its trustees have approved $9.1m for the initial engineering and permitting and licensing phase of NYPA’s Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, which is designed to help further strengthen the reliability of the state’s electric power grid, as well as allow more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system throughout New York.

NYPA said that the upgraded line will also help accelerate New York’s progress in meeting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which calls for 50% of the state’s consumed electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

As TransmissionHub reported, Cuomo on July 21 announced plans to rebuild 78 miles of power transmission infrastructure in the North Country.

A NYPA spokesperson on July 24 told TransmissionHub that NYPA would build, own, and operate the project.

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, a July 21 NYPA 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 July 21 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 July 21 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 July 21 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.

In its Oct. 10 statement, NYPA said that prior to the board’s approval of the most recent funding, NYPA’s trustees previously approved $9.4m for earlier phases of the project.

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.

According to a project fact sheet, licensing and engineering studies began in 2015 and will continue through 2019.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3235 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.