NYPA plans public meetings via Zoom about transmission project

New York Power Authority officials will hold two public meetings via Zoom starting today to discuss the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project, the rebuilding of about 100 miles of transmission by replacing aging wood H-frames with steel poles. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — New York Power Authority officials will hold two public meetings via Zoom starting Tuesday to discuss the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project, the rebuilding of about 100 miles of transmission by replacing aging wood H-frames with steel poles.

Presentations focusing on the Northern Alignment from Massena to Clinton will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Thursday. Two presentations focusing on the Southern Alignment from Croghan to Marcy will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. on April 13.

The presentations will give the public an opportunity to view the preliminary designs for the project, ask questions and offer comments. The 30-minute presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

For Zoom access, visit nypa.gov/NNYPTP. The webinars will be recorded and posted to that site at a later date.

The project, which New York Power Authority trustees approved in March, includes completion of the second phase of the Power 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.

NYPA officials said the project will increase power flow capacity, increase transmission system resilience to severe weather events, and improve asset condition.

Work will be done almost exclusively within existing transmission rights-of-way along the project path across the north country and through the Mohawk Valley on the southernmost portion.

In addition to the March authorization to “accept, develop and operate” the transmission project, trustees also approved the selection of National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company, as the project’s co-participant.

The Northern New York Priority Transmission Project was identified by the Public Service Commission as a priority transmission project that should move forward expeditiously under New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act.

NYPA submitted a petition to the Public Service Commission on July 2, 2020, for the development of the Northern New York Priority Transmission Project. That was approved by an order dated Oct. 15, 2020, for acceleration in order to help the state meet its climate and clean energy goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The act calls for a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality.

NYPA’s March authorization for the project paves the way for engineering and planning work to begin in preparation for the project’s environmental review and approval process through the New York State Public Service Commission. The PSC’s Article VII process requires a full environmental review of any major transmission facility’s siting, design, construction and operation in New York.

Construction is estimated to take place from 2022 to 2025, with a 2025 in-service date.

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