NY Governor
Smart Path North Country

NY Governor Announces Start of Construction on Smart Path Transmission Line

Dec. 16, 2022
The Smart Path Connect project will help unbottle existing renewable resources in the region and yield significant production cost savings, emissions reductions, and decreases in transmission congestion.
  • Smart Path Connect is a critically important transmission project to meet the clean energy requirements of the State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
  • Rebuilding the transmission lines will provide more than $447 million in annual savings in northern New York and create hundreds of clean energy jobs
  • When completed in 2025, the project will form one continuous 345 KV transmission line between Clinton and Oneida counties, connecting renewable energy into the power system

New York Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced the start of construction on Smart Path Connect, a critical transmission project led by the New York Power Authority and National Grid NY to rebuild and strengthen about 100 miles of transmission in the North Country and the Mohawk Valley. The transmission line upgrades are necessary to meet the clean energy requirements of the state's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Project representatives, including New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll, and National Grid New York Chief Operating Officer for Electric Brian Gemmell, joined president and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator Rich Dewey to mark the project's construction kick-off and briefed the local community on the project along with state and local leaders at the New York Power Authority's Hawkins Point Visitors Center in Massena, New York.

The Smart Path Connect 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 CO2 emissions avoided annually on a statewide basis and an annual reduction of an estimated 160 tons of NOx emissions. New York Power Authority estimates the project will provide more than $447 million in annual savings in northern New York and create hundreds of clean energy jobs during construction.

"As we head into the winter months, I am encouraged to see the progress New York is making on rebuilding our integral transmission lines, making them more resilient to increasingly more severe winter storms like the one we just experienced in Buffalo," Driscoll said, "Our investments in transmission are vital to New York's clean energy future. NYPA's transmission development focus is a foundational part of our NYPA Vision 2030 strategic plan."

Smart Path Connect is a multi-faceted project that includes rebuilding approximately 45 miles of transmission eastward from Massena to the Town of Clinton, which will be led by the New York Power Authority; and rebuilding approximately 55 miles of transmission southward from Croghan to Marcy which will be led by National Grid NY. The work will involve construction of several new substations as well as refurbishment of several existing substations. 

The two segments will be connected by Smart Path, a rebuild of the Moses to Adirondack transmission lines, which began in 2020 and is slated to conclude next year. Like Smart Path, Smart Path Connect falls primarily within existing transmission rights-of-way in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oneida counties. When completed in 2025, Smart Path Connect and Smart Path will form one continuous 345 KV transmission line between Clinton and Oneida Counties, reinforcing the statewide grid and connecting renewable energy into the power system including power from newly constructed and proposed renewable energy sources. 

Following a competitive bidding process, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved a six-year, $276 million contract to Michels Power, Inc. for the construction of the project's transmission lines and another five-year, $104 million contract in May for work on the project's substations. 

In addition to Smart Path and Smart Path Connect, several other New York State transmission projects are progressing toward completion or are completed and in service. Last week, Governor Hochul celebrated the start of construction of the 339-mile Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, developed by Transmission Developers Inc. The Champlain Hudson Power Express and Clean Path NY, a project developed through a collaboration between NYPA and Forward Power (a joint venture of Invenergy and energyRe,) contracts were approved by the Public Service Commission in April 2022, making them the largest transmission infrastructure developments in New York State in the last 50 years. All told, New York's transmission investments total nearly 1,000 miles of new and upgraded projects that will help advance New York's bold clean energy goals.

Additional projects include New York Power Authority and LS Power New York's Central East Energy Connect project which involves the rebuild and expansion of nearly 100 miles of historically heavily congested transmission lines in the Utica/Albany corridor; New York Transco's New York Energy Solution which involves the rebuild of approximately 54 miles of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley and NextEra Energy Transmission New York's recently completed and energized Empire State Line Project of approximately 20 miles in Western New York.

The New York State Public Service Commission granted the New York Power Authority a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Smart Path Connect project in August 2022, and approved the Environmental Management and Construction Plan for the first segment of the project in September 2022. Expected completion date for the line is 2025. 

Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Chair of the Committee on Energy, said, "We are entering a new era when it comes to energy infrastructure in New York State. As we continue to work to achieve the ambitious goals of the climate leadership act, the importance of transmission projects like Smart Part Connect, beginning in northern New York and in the Mohawk Valley, can't be overstated. It's great to see progress being made and I thank Governor Hochul, NYPA and our project partner National Grid for their leadership and commitment to upgrading and expanding our transmission system."

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