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$34.3 Million for Transmission Life Extension and Modernization at Northern New York Substations

Funding will help New York Power Authority improve the availability and reliability of the grid.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees last month approved US$34.3 million for upgrades at its Plattsburgh, Willis and Saranac substations in Clinton County. The investment is part of a comprehensive, multi-year Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (T-LEM) program to upgrade NYPA’s transmission system to maintain availability and increase reliability.

The T-LEM program, which began in 2012 and is set to run through 2025, encompasses transmission assets along transmission lines, switchyards and substations in the Central, Northern and Western regions of New York State. The upgrades, estimated to cost US$726 million, are divided into several smaller projects for efficient resource planning and effective implementation.

Transmission improvements in the Northern New York region encompass equipment upgrades at the Plattsburgh, Willis and Saranac remote substations, which support the operation of the transmission systems around NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena.

The funding authorization will enable NYPA to build on completed upgrades and synergizes with planned ones at the Willis substation, in addition to further improvements at the Plattsburgh substation. Seven 230-kV and four 115-kV circuit breakers will be replaced, in addition to motor-operated disconnect switches and instrument transformers at the Willis substation. The planned improvements also include relay and station service equipment upgrades at both the Willis and Plattsburgh substations, as well as the procurement of four 115-kV circuit breakers for the Saranac substation. The planned upgrades are expected to begin in September and continue through December 2025.

In March 2017, the NYPA Board of Trustees approved US$26.3 million for the initial phase of T-LEM work at the remote substations in Northern New York, which included the replacement of motor-operated disconnect switches, instrument transformers, eleven 115-kV circuit breakers and station service equipment at the Plattsburgh substation.

NYPA’s switchyards and substations range from 115 kV to 765 kV, including 1,471 circuit‑miles of transmission lines, which are a strategic component for the delivery of reliable, low-cost power to New York State. The T-LEM program advances NYPA’s commitment to becoming the nation’s first end-to-end digital utility as part of the Smart Generation & Transmission strategic initiative and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy.

NYPA owns and operates approximately one-third of New York’s high-voltage power lines. These lines transmit power from NYPA’s three large hydroelectric generation facilities and wind power generation facilities, connecting nearly 7,000 MW of renewable energy to New York State’s power grid. This includes connecting more than 6,200 MW of hydroelectric power and about 700 MW, or more than a third, of New York State-generated wind energy to the grid.

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