New York Advances $485 Million Transmission Project to Enhance Grid Reliability, Support Renewables

The New York State Public Service Commission approved the first phase of the New York Power Authority’s Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, which is designed to improve the reliability and resilience of the electric system in Upstate New York, according to a Feb. 6 news release. The project will rebuild facilities that are well past their serviceable lifetime to make them more resilient and lower maintenance costs. The rebuilt transmission lines for the first phase are expected to be completed in 2023.

The upgrades are needed to deliver electricity, including carbon-free hydroelectric power, from Northern New York to the rest of the state, and to provide increased capacity for future expansion to meet the state’s clean energy targets. The lines will also re-energize the bulk electric system as a component of the New York grid operator’s “System Restoration Plan,” in the event of a future widespread outage.

The first phase of the $484 million project involves replacing 78 miles of existing wooden structures with steel monopoles that require less space and are more durable. The rebuilt lines will be stronger and less susceptible to failure, with the ability to better withstand inclement weather, such as ice storm. They minimize the use of space on the right-of-way, thus reducing the number of poles on the landscape.

The second phase would rebuild about eight miles of existing steel structures coming from the Robert-Moses Switchyard in Massena and 0.4 miles of steel structures into the Adirondack substation. It also involves the construction of a new 345 kilovolt switchyard at the Robert-Moses switchyard and the Adirondack substation.

The project traverses through 12 towns from north to south: Massena, Louisville, Norfolk, Madrid, Potsdam, Canton, Russell, Hermon, Edwards and Pitcarin in St. Lawrence County, and Diana and Croghan in Lewis County.