NYPA Reaches First Milestone in the Rebuild of North-South Transmission Artery

Dec. 3, 2020
The Smart Path transmission project is improving reliability in New York State.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the completion of work and energization of the first segment of one of the lines for its Smart Path Transmission project, the upgrade of the Moses to Adirondack transmission lines 1 & 2, (known as MA 1&2). 

“The Smart Path transmission project is critically important to the resiliency of New York’s north-south transmission system,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “The benefits of this important transmission work accrue incrementally, so every time we complete a section, New York State’s transmission system becomes that much stronger, more resilient and reliable.”

“I am very proud of the progress we have made on the Smart Path project,” said Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA Trustee. “We are steadily gaining traction on upgrading this important line so that more renewables can come onto the grid and we can move ahead with Governor Cuomo’s clean energy and climate leadership targets.”

The Smart Path project involves rebuilding about 78 miles of the total 86-mile transmission artery that was constructed originally by the federal government in 1942 and acquired by the Power Authority in 1950. Running north to south through St. Lawrence and Lewis counties in the North Country, the newly rebuilt lines will connect economical, clean and renewable energy into the state-wide power system, including low-cost hydropower from NYPA's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project as well as power from newly constructed renewable energy sources. 

Construction involves the replacement of the original H-frame wood poles, some of which are more than 80 years old with single steel monopoles in the existing right of way. The project, which has been broken into 6 parts—three segments per line—includes high-voltage transmission lines from Massena to Croghan.

Work on the first 21-mile section of the MA 2 line began at the beginning of the year.  A total of 104 new structures have been installed, and the rebuilt section was energized earlier this month. It will provide improved resiliency to support the transmission of clean energy from Northern New York.

There are five remaining transmission line segments to be rebuilt under the Smart Path project. Work will begin next month on the replacement of the MA 1 line in segment 1. The first phase of the Smart Path project is expected to be complete in 2023. The project will strengthen the state’s electric power grid, and help the state meet the goals set forth in Governor Cuomo’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The rebuilt lines will be capable of transmitting up to 345 kV. However, they will be operated in the near-term at the 230 kV level. Together the lines are currently rated to carry 900 MW during the winter months--enough clean electricity to power up to 900,000 averaged-sized homes. This ability to increase the voltage when the demand requires it is a cost-effective way to add on more renewable power, especially from in-state renewable generation, anywhere along the transmission line, as New York continues to advance its clean energy goals.

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