August 11, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Approval of Major Upstate Transmission Line

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Governor Hochul Announces Approval of Major Upstate Transmission Line
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New York Power Authority and National Grid's Smart Path Connect Project to Increase Delivery of Clean Energy and Advance New York's Climate Action Goals

Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the New York State Public Service Commission approved rebuilding a critically important 100-mile transmission line in the North Country that is needed to meet the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The project, known as Smart Path Connect, represents an upgrade to the transmission backbone system of New York that will improve reliability throughout the State. It will complement the previously approved Smart Path and AC Transmission projects and it will reduce congestion and curtailments currently impacting renewable generation and reduce the costs of delivered power for customers. The Smart Path Connect project will eliminate existing curtailments and provide congestion cost savings of more than $447 million.

"New York is proud to be leading the clean energy revolution, using projects like Smart Path Connect to power communities across the state," Governor Hochul said. "As we work to advance our climate goals and create the jobs of the future, these projects are a critical component of our efforts to build out New York State's transmission system to deliver clean energy to all New Yorkers."

The North Country transmission line is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and National Grid. The project consists of rebuilding approximately 100 miles of existing 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines to either 230 kV or 345 kV along with associated substation construction and upgrades along the existing right-of-way in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oneida counties.

The project includes rebuilding all or parts of: NYPA's Moses-Willis 1 & 2 lines, NYPA's Willis-Patnode and Willis-Ryan lines; and National Grid's Adirondack to Porter line, the extension of the existing 230 kV Rector Road to Chases Lake Line 10, as well as connecting to NYPA's Smart Path (also known as Moses-Adirondack 1 & 2 or MA 1 & 2) right-of-way. The project is needed to realize the potential for renewable energy development in Northern New York.

Rory M. Christian, Chair of the PSC, said, "Once the Smart Path Connect project and the other projects like it are in service, they would provide a continuous 345 kV transmission system significantly improving the deliverability of renewable generation from northern and western New York. For its part, Smart Path will provide economic benefits through reduced curtailments. It will improve reliability, serve the interests of electric system economy and reliability, and provide increased transmission capability for renewable resources required to meet the State's obligations under the Climate Act."

State Senator Dan Stec said, “The new North Country transmission line will play a key role in ensuring affordable energy in our region. This 100-mile line will upgrade our power infrastructure and reliability, while reducing consumer costs. We have to do more to lower rate costs and increase the power supply in our communities and this project is a positive step in that direction.”

State Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, "It is essential that we to continue to invest in and modernize our energy infrastructure to ensure that constituents have access to reliable energy. Using existing right-of-ways is a better alternative than proposing or putting transmission lines through communities."

State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "You don't realize the importance of electricity in daily life until you are faced with power instability. This investment in 100 miles of new transmission line across the North Country will make a difference for our residents whose families and businesses, like nearly all of us, rely on affordable electricity every single day."

Assemblyman Robert Smullen said, "As inflation continues to burden our state and our nation, it's crucial that our families have access to reliable and affordable power for their homes and businesses. New York's transmission lines are one of the backbones of our energy sector and I am pleased to see substantial investments in our energy transmission system are being made to benefit Mohawk Valley and North Country families."

New York is making significant upgrades and additions to the State's existing transmission and distribution systems to integrate new large-scale renewable energy projects into the State's energy supply. The projects approved today provide an important opportunity to achieve significant Climate Act benefits for the State as a whole.

In addition to approving the Smart Path Connect project, the PSC in separate, but related, actions decided the following:

  • Canisteo Wind Transmission: Approved construction of a 14.6-mile, transmission line the towns of Canisteo, Jasper and Hornellsville, Steuben County, that will connect the 290.7-megawatt (MW) Canisteo Wind Farm to the electric grid. Canisteo is one of the largest wind farms in New York State. The transmission project is needed to connect the Canisteo Wind Farm to the State's electric grid and thereby provide renewable energy to the electric system in furtherance of the greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives set forth in the Climate Act.
  • Central Hudson: Approved construction of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation's transmission line known as the H&SB project, which calls for rebuilding 23.6-miles of transmission lines in the City of Kingston, and Towns of Ulster and Saugerties in Ulster County, and the Town of Catskill and Village of Catskill, Greene County. The rebuild will help meet the energy needs of local communities, address aging infrastructure and to enhance electric service reliability.
  • Sound Cable: Approved NYPA's request to amend its plans for its Sound Cable transmission line, an existing 26-mile submarine transmission cable connecting the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. 345 kV Sprain Brook substation, located in Westchester County, to the Long Island Power Authority East Garden City substation, located in Nassau County. This approval would enhance the reliability of the Sound Cable Project. Additionally, NYPA will install eight new underground utility vaults in Nassau County and replace fiber optic communication cables on the upland portions of the Sound Cable Project in Nassau and Westchester counties.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

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