State PSC approves electricity project

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MASSENA — The New York Power Authority has received the go-ahead for its Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project.

The state Public Service Commission announced Thursday that it had approved the $483.8 million project to rebuild a major north-south transmission line, including 78 miles constructed by the federal government in 1942 and acquired by the Power Authority in 1950. The Moses-Adirondack line starts in Massena and carries electricity from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project to the Adirondack substation in Croghan.

According to a news release from the Public Service Commission, the PSC granted NYPA a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, which authorizes NYPA to rebuild and operate its existing Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 transmission lines and to construct certain upgrades to the Moses Switchyard and the Adirondack Substation.

“Today’s approval from the New York State Public Service Commission for NYPA to move ahead with rebuilding our Moses-Adirondack transmission lines enables us to ensure the security and reliability of New York’s energy system well into the future. As we move toward Governor Cuomo’s 100 percent carbon-free by 2040 goal, these transmission lines will provide a crucial link for delivery of anticipated, new clean energy sources to New Yorkers,” NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said in an emailed statement.

NYPA filed an application with the PSC in April 2018 to seek authorization to rebuild and operate its existing Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 transmission lines. During their September meeting, NYPA trustees approved a contract of about $11.1 million for Kenny Construction Company, Chicago, to place two laydown areas, one in Louisville and another in Hermon as part of the project.

The laydown area is a space of ground or pavement located near or at the construction site that is for the receipt, storage and partial assembly of project equipment and materials to be installed or constructed. Kenny Construction Company will set up, manage and maintain the two laydown areas in Louisville and Hermon.

Phase One of the project replaces 78 miles of the two lines currently configured as single circuits on separate wooden H-frame structures with two new single-circuit lines on steel monopoles. The single steel poles require significantly less space than the H poles, extend the distance between poles and minimize the use of space on the right-of-way.

The rebuilt lines will be taller but stronger, less susceptible to failure and able to withstand ice storms with the new aluminum conductor and steel poles.

Phase Two would replace the remaining length of the transmission lines with two single circuits on steel monopoles and upgrading the Moses Switchyard and the Adirondack Substation.

The project is expected to begin in 2020, with the lines expected to be in service about three to four years after the start of construction. Once complete, it will have the capacity to bring enough clean electricity to power 720,000 to 900,000 average-sized homes.

The project will strengthen the state’s electric power grid, which will allow more upstate renewable energy to connect to the power system throughout the state. It will also help the state meet the governor’s Clean Energy Standard that mandates that 50 percent of New York’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030.

“We commend NYPA for advancing this critical transmission project which will ensure reliable service throughout New York State,” Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said in a statement. “These new and improved lines will help transmit power generated by clean hydro and renewable facilities in Canada and Upstate New York. They will also support future expansion to meet the clean energy goals in Governor Cuomo’s ambitious Green New Deal.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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