New York Power Authority trustees approved a total of $9.1 million for the initial engineering and permitting and licensing phase of the planned rebuild of the Authority’s major North-South power transmission line at their Sept. 26 board meeting. Completion of the project, known as the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, will help to further strengthen the reliability of New York State’s electric power grid and allow more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system throughout the state. The upgraded line also will help accelerate the state’s progress in meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard that calls for 50 percent of New York's consumed electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030.
“These transmission lines were the Power Authority’s very first asset, originally built in 1942, and, while NYPA’s crews have done a great job maintaining them over the years to keep the electricity flowing, it is now time for replacement and modernization,” said NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel. “With this ambitious effort, we are investing in New York’s transmission health and preparing the system for many more years of reliable service.”
“The NYPA Board of Trustees’ action is another step forward in making the Smart Path, a major public infrastructure investment, a reality,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. “The Smart Path is an important piece of helping to realize Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for building a cleaner, more reliable energy system for New York. We are pleased that the Board has approved this next step for the project.”
This funding announcement follows Governor Cuomo’s first announcement in July that the state would be moving forward with the plan to rebuild the 78-mile stretch of transmission artery. Prior to the board’s approval of this most recent funding, NYPA’s trustees previously approved $9.4 million for earlier phases of the project which is expected to cost $440 million. The new funding will help to support additional engineering work as well as permitting and licensing of the new lines.
When completed, Smart Path will 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. The project is also expected to support nearly 2,000 jobs during its construction.