December 27, 2012
Around Town by Neal Tepel
A major upgrade and repairs are planned for NYPA's half century-old transmission system in Western, Central and Northern New York. This will provide a critical step in carrying out the New York Energy Highway Blueprint.
The plans by NYPA for the phased-in Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) project improvements to its transmission system directly tie in with a major strategic goal of the Governor's Energy Highway Blueprint, to rebuild and modernize the state energy infrastructure to meet current and future energy needs, including accelerated construction and repair of New York State's electric systems.
The measures will incorporate the latest engineering and technologies to harden and strengthen NYPA's transmission facilities to make them impervious to severe weather such as Hurricane Sandy.
"A modern, efficient power delivery system is essential to ensuring that we have the reliable, clean and affordable energy needed to meet the demands of a 21st century economy," Governor Cuomo said. "Modernizing and strengthening our state's power transmission system is a centerpiece of the Energy Highway Blueprint, and the approval by the NYPA Board of Trustees sets the wheels in motion on this important project. By making major improvements to New York's power transmission system, we can help ensure that our state has the proper infrastructure in place to support a growing economy."
A reliable and efficient electric power grid is fundamental to New York State’s economy, making possible the delivery of economical, clean power from varied sources. The Power Authority, which owns and operates approximately one-third of the state's high-voltage power lines, has transmission facilities that include those that date back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, when NYPA built its major hydroelectric plants on the St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers. The NYPA trustees have authorized initial funding of $119 million for transmission equipment improvements at the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena and Niagara Power Project in Lewiston. The initial work will focus on measures at the two hydroelectric plants' switchyards and substations, transmission-line structures, or towers, and along existing transmission corridors extending from the plants. The improvements will be undertaken in multiple phases.