NYPA board approves major transmission line rebuild project

March 30, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 30, 2021

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on March 30 announced approval of the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project (NNYPTP), a major transmission line rebuild that will harden the resiliency of New York’s power grid and accelerate movement toward meeting New York State’s clean energy goals, NYPA said.

The authorization to accept, develop and operate the transmission project took place at a NYPA Board of Trustees meeting where NYPA trustees also approved the selection of investor-owned National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company, as the project’s co-participant.

The board’s authorization paves the way for engineering and planning work to begin in preparation for the project’s environmental review and approval process through the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC).

The NNYPTP was identified by the PSC on October 15 as a priority transmission project that should move forward expeditiously under New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act.

The project was approved for acceleration in order to help the state meet its climate and clean energy goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, enacted in July 2019, which calls for a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality.

The project builds upon New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement in his 2021 State of the State address of five transmission projects totaling 250 miles across the state that will form New York’s Green Energy Superhighway.

The NNYPTP, spanning approximately 100 miles of transmission lines across the North Country and through the Mohawk Valley on the southern-most portion, is expected to begin construction next year and take approximately three years to conclude.

 The NNYPTP is a multi-faceted project that includes:

  • Completion of the second phase of NYPA’s Smart Path Moses-Adirondack rebuild;
  • Rebuilding approximately 45 miles of transmission eastward from Massena to the Town of Clinton, known as the Northern Alignment;
  • Rebuilding approximately 55 miles of transmission southward from Croghan to Marcy, known as the Southern Alignment; and
  • Rebuilding and expanding several substations along the impacted transmission corridor.

The work falls primarily within existing transmission rights-of-way.

NYPA said that the project will help unbottle existing renewable resources in the region, and will also yield significant production cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreases in transmission congestion.

NYPA estimates the project will provide more than $447 million in annual congestion savings in northern New York and create hundreds of clean energy jobs during construction.

National Grid selected as co-participant

In selecting National Grid as a co-participant on the project, NYPA cited among other things, National Grid’s extensive experience planning, developing, constructing, managing and operating transmission projects similar in type and scale to the NNYPTP as well as ownership and familiarity of property and transmission facilities that can be used to support the expeditious development of the project.

National Grid also has a longstanding relationship with communities in the North Country, working with them to meet their needs.

Project costs will be estimated as the project’s design and scope are finalized and will be shared between NYPA and National Grid.

The selection of National Grid as a co-developer for the NNYPTP is subject to NYPA and National Grid reaching agreement on proposed terms and conditions for development of the project.

NYPA owns and operates approximately one third of New York’s high voltage power lines. These 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 (MW) of hydroelectric power and about 700 MW, or more than a third, of New York State generated wind energy to the grid.

NYPA operates more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines and 16 generating facilities.

For information about the project visit www.nypa.gov/NNYPTP.

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