MASSENA — The New York Power Authority has announced that three north country projects are restarting with appropriate COVID-19 protections in place, and two other projects are expected to restart in June and July.
The five projects are located in Massena, Potsdam and Franklin County.
Among the restarts is the continuation of work on NYPA’s Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project, or Smart Path, to rebuild and strengthen the Moses-Adirondack transmission lines.
The state Public Service Commission announced in February that it had approved the first phase of the $483.8 million project, the rebuilding of an 86-mile stretch of the New York Power Authority transmission lines.
The Moses-Adirondack line starts in Massena and carries electricity from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project to the Adirondack Substation in Croghan, connecting energy into the statewide power system from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project, as well as power from newly constructed renewable energy sources.
The project, which includes upgrading the Power Authority’s Moses switchyard in Massena and the Adirondack substation in Croghan, is designed to provide a more robust, resilient and reliable electric system in upstate New York. The north-south transmission line includes 78 miles constructed by the federal government in 1942 and acquired by the Power Authority in 1950.
Phase one 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.
Work has also resumed on a project that will restore a small hydroelectric power plant that feeds power to the village of Potsdam. The Power Authority is providing approximately $4 million in financing and technical assistance to the village for the overhaul and upgrade of the hydro facility, which is expected to be back in service by the end of the year.
The general contractor, Wisconsin-based Eaton Corp., and Bancraft Contracting, its subcontractor have returned to the site. The project had been put on hold following the COVID-19 pandemic. It was determined to be essential by the state in April and was cleared to continue.
The Village Board, during its Jan. 20 meeting, approved a $2.9 million contract with Eaton Corp. as part of the $4 million renovation of the East Power Dam, which was designed and constructed in 1983. The payment plan on the project will span 180 months.
The project was scheduled to conclude on July 16, allowing two weeks between the end of the work and the sunset date for the grant money, allowing for any last-minute work that may arise. The sunset deadlines for the project have been adjusted to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutting down of the economy.
Once completed, the plant will generate more power, and that will lead to the generation of more money than the village will need to make the payment, village officials said.
Work has also resumed on a $5.6 million concrete rehabilitation project at the Massena Intake. The project consists of replacing the concrete roadway deck and sidewalks and the installation of a railing system.
Traffic has been detoured through the village while work has been taking place on state Highway 131. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Also at the Massena Intake, a mid-June target date has been set to begin work at the site as part of a $3 million recreation improvement project aimed at enabling expanded fishing tournaments.
In addition to doubling the capacity of the existing boat launch, two new picnic pavilions will be added, along with a new permanent dock, seasonal piers and restrooms with expanded accessibility and parking.
No work is scheduled to be done while fishing tournaments are taking place in September. The project is anticipated to be completed before the end of the year.
In Franklin County, NYPA has set a mid-July target date to resume work on a $29.8 million 20-megawatt battery storage demonstration facility adjacent to an existing substation.
The project, which is anticipated to be in service by the end of the year, supports the state’s nation-leading 3,000-MW by 2030 storage goal, the equivalent electricity to serve approximately 240,000 to 300,000 average-sized homes.