Power project deal secured

New York Power Authority officials announced that at its board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, board members approved a Joint Development Agreement with National Grid as a co-participant in the authority’s 110-mile transmission line rebuild project in the north country and Mohawk Valley. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — New York Power Authority officials announced that at its Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday morning, board members had approved a Joint Development Agreement with National Grid as a co-participant in the authority’s 110-mile transmission line rebuild project in the north country and Mohawk Valley.

They said the work for the project, formerly known as the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project, falls primarily within the authority’s and National Grid’s existing transmission rights-of-way. The project is now known as “Smart Path Connect.”

Under the agreement, the authority is expected to own more than 50% of the project and will lead all development and permitting efforts with input from National Grid. National Grid will own the remainder, and NYPA and National Grid will each retain ownership of their existing facilities and all facility improvements.

Trustees had previously approved the selection of National Grid as the project’s co-participants on March 30.

“This is good news for the North Country, the Mohawk Valley and for New York State,” Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA trustee and Massena resident, said in a prepared statement. “I’m very pleased to see the progress on both these North Country transmission projects because they represent a shot in the arm to the local economy and will strengthen the long-term resiliency of New York’s electric system for many years to come.”

NYPA officials recently held two public meetings to discuss the Smart Path Connect project, which rebuilds about 100 miles of transmission by replacing aging wood H-frames with steel poles. One session focused on the Northern Alignment from Massena to Clinton, and the second focused on the Southern Alignment from Croghan to Marcy.

The project, which trustees approved in March, includes completion of the second phase of the authority’s 86-mile Smart Path Moses-Adirondack rebuild. The second phase stretches about 45 miles of transmission eastward from Massena to the town of Clinton, known as the Northern Alignment, and rebuilding about 55 miles of transmission southward from Croghan to Marcy, known as the Southern Alignment. It also includes rebuilding and expanding several substations along the impacted transmission corridor.

The two segments are connected by NYPA’s Smart Path Moses-Adirondack transmission project that began construction early last year and spans about 78 miles from Massena to Croghan. The Smart Path project celebrated the energization of another segment of the project last week making it one-third complete and on schedule for completion in mid-2023.

“Another segment of the line was reconductored, so 23 more miles of Moses-Adirondack 1 was energized earlier this month, and another three miles are scheduled to be energized this week,” NYPA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph F. Kessler told NYPA trustees Tuesday.

Mr. Kessler said that, to date as of May 11, 30% of the conductor and optical ground wire had been installed; 45% of the access roads were completed; 281 foundations out of 796 have been completed; and 226 structures out of 796 have been completed.

“In aggregate, the project’s completion date remains on track for mid-2023,” he said.

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