MASSENA — New York Power Authority trustees have approved the release of $341.2 million as part of the funding for the Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability Project.
The total estimated project cost is $483.8 million, and the $341.2 million represents the balance of capital expenditures for the project, known as Smart Path. NYPA trustees had previously approved $142.6 million for earlier phases of the project.
The latest fund disbursal, which trustees approved on Wednesday, will support construction of new lines primarily on existing rights of way, except for a small re-route around SUNY Canton, to minimize the impact on the environment and to adjacent property and landowners. Licensing and engineering is estimated at $2.2 million, procurement is estimated at $12.1 million, construction is estimated at $292.2 million, and NYPA direct and indirect expenses are estimated at $39.1 million.
The state Public Service Commission announced in November that it had approved the 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.
The Public Service Commission granted NYPA a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, which authorized 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. Construction is expected to begin in 2020, following receipt of required approvals, and the rebuilt transmission lines are expected to be completed in 2023.
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.
Running north to south through St. Lawrence and Lewis counties in the north country, the lines connect economical, clean and renewable energy into the statewide power system, including low-cost hydropower from NYPA’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project as well as power from newly constructed renewable energy sources. The project is expected to support hundreds of jobs during its construction.
“I have been watching the planning and development of this transformative project to rebuild the Moses to Adirondack transmission lines for many years. As a long-time resident of the North Country, I am thrilled to see this project reach this seminal stage,” Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA vice-chairman said in a statement. “With the Power Authority’s construction investments announced today, we are now ready to realize a more robust transmission system for NYPA’s customers in the North Country and across New York State.”
“Rebuilding and modernizing our major transmission lines is vital so that we can advance the Governor’s and New York State’s clean energy policies and goals,” Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO said in a statement. “These Smart Path upgrades will enable us to have a reliable, resilient transmission pathway from north to south.”