Ny Transmission Build

First 5-Mile Section of Central East Energy Connect Transmission Line Complete

June 14, 2021
Completion involved installation of approximately 33 new steel transmission monopoles along a 5-mile stretch of the US$615 million project.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the completion and energization of the first segment of the Central East Energy Connect, which upgrades transmission lines between Marcy in Oneida County and New Scotland in Albany County. Completion of the first segment — in the towns of Princetown and Rotterdam — involved the installation of approximately 33 new steel transmission monopoles along a 5-mile stretch of the US$615 million project.

Recently renamed Central East Energy Connect, the transmission improvement project kicked off construction earlier this year and when finished will upgrade energy transmission capacity along a 93-mile transmission line in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region. The project, a joint effort by LS Power Grid New York and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), puts New York on track to meet its clean energy goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which includes a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality.

"The energization of the first section of the vital transmission project showcases New York's leadership building a green energy superhighway that best prepares us for the future," said Cuomo. "The work we're undertaking on the Central East Energy Connect transmission line is emblematic of New York's focus on upgrading transmission across our state, and we're making the largest transmission infrastructure investments in more than 30 years. These major investments will help facilitate New York's transition to a carbon-free energy system that is reliable and resilient."

The Central East Energy Connect is designed to increase transmission capacity and help deliver energy, including renewable energy, to higher demand areas across the state. In addition, the project will stimulate the local and regional economies by creating and supporting hundreds of clean energy construction jobs.

In a recent rate case settlement, LS Power Grid New York provided savings for New York consumers through a cost-containment approach that reduces the total projected cost of the project to US$615 million, more than US$200 million less than the estimated cost provided by the New York Independent System Operator's (NYISO's) independent evaluation.

Paul Segal, LS Power CEO, said: "Our team has made tremendous progress since starting construction just four months ago to reach the energization of the Central East Energy Connect's first segment. It's an exciting step to achieving New York State's clean energy future, while creating jobs and economic growth. LS Power will continue to invest in innovative solutions as we transition to a lower carbon electric grid."

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said: "The Central East Energy Connect transmission line upgrades will help ensure the resilience of New York's energy transmission system and facilitate our state's transition to cleaner energy. I'm pleased to see work moving expeditiously on this project and the energization of this first section. With each completed section, New York State's transmission system becomes that much stronger, cleaner, and more reliable, while simultaneously strengthening the local economy by supporting local jobs."

Rich Dewey, NYISO president and CEO, said: "The NYISO has long highlighted the Tale of Two Grids, which speaks to the critical need for increased transmission capability from upstate to downstate to achieve the state's decarbonization and renewable goals. This milestone brings the state closer to those goals and the NYISO is proud to have played a role. We commend the governor, the NYPA, and LS Power on this project, which also demonstrates that our collective transmission planning processes are delivering on the grid of the future."

Construction involves replacing existing lines and wooden poles, some of which are about 60 years old, with stronger steel monopoles in existing utility rights-of-way and building two new substations. In total, the project will remove approximately 1250 aging transmission structures and replace them with approximately 700 monopoles. The work will increase the resilience of the line to extreme weather and support the transmission of clean energy across the state. The project, which is on schedule to be completed in 2023, will have nearly five times the capacity of the existing lines being replaced to meet New York State's energy needs now and into the future.

The governor first unveiled a major buildout of new statewide transmission projects in his 2021 State of the State address. The projects together will form New York's Green Energy Superhighway — 250 miles of planned investments that will create opportunities to maximize the use of renewable energy for parts of the state that rely heavily on fossil fuel plants. The New York State Public Service Commission approved a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Central East Energy Connect–Marcy to New Scotland transmission upgrade project at its Jan. 21 meeting.

For more information about the Central East Energy Connect project, visit the project website.

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