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NYPA Approves Northern New York Priority Transmission Project Plan

March 30, 2021
Project to help avoid 1.16 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, save US$447 million in annual transmission congestion costs, create clean energy construction jobs.

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

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 project is expected to stimulate local and regional economies by creating and supporting hundreds of clean energy construction jobs.

The NNYPTP was identified by the PSC on Oct. 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 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% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality.

This project also builds upon Governor Andrew M. 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 southernmost portion, is expected to begin construction next year and take approximately three years to conclude.

Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA board of trustees vice chair and North Country resident, said: "The NNYPTP will prepare us for the energy challenges we face in the future. Building this new line will help the North Country rebound from pandemic-related job losses and deliver against a key priority in NYPA's VISION2030 strategic plan to rapidly develop transmission circuit-miles to help build a statewide green energy superhighway."

The NNYPTP is a multifaceted 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.

The project will help unbottle existing renewable resources in the region and yield significant production cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreases in transmission congestion. It is estimated to result in more than 1.16 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided annually on a statewide basis and an annual reduction of approximately 160 tons of NOx emissions from downstate emissions sources. NYPA estimates the project will provide more than US$447 million in annual congestion savings in northern New York and create hundreds of clean energy jobs during construction.

NYPA trustees also approved the selection of National Grid, an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company, as the project's 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.

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 the Authority and National Grid reaching agreement on proposed terms and conditions for development of the project.

"We are pleased to select National Grid as our co-participant as we move forward with the NNYPTP, which will help clear the way for more renewable energy to meet the needs of New Yorkers across the state," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "NYPA is pleased to lead the development of this major infrastructure project that will benefit New Yorkers for years to come and also harden our electric system against adverse weather events."

"National Grid is pleased to have been selected to develop and build this important transmission link, which will help enable the integration of clean, renewable energy into the New York grid," said Rudolph Wynter, incoming president of National Grid New York. "NYPA was seeking a partner in this priority transmission project that could bring tangible benefits to the project and quickly get it developed and built. We're looking forward to supporting New York's transition to a clean energy future."

For information about the project, visit here.

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