ALBANY — The New York Power Authority has approved funding for a project to upgrade the electric power transmission network extending from Marcy to the Albany area, according to an announcement by
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The Power Authority’s trustees approved $28 million in funding toward the project Tuesday, Cuomo’s announcement said.
The project was chosen April 8 by the organization that oversees long-distance power transmission in the state, the New York Independent System Operator, which had solicited competitive bids for projects to relive congestion in power transmission and facilitate access to renewable energy.
The project is intended to better link upstate power-generation sites, including those using renewable sources, to electricity users downstate.
The improvement project will involve upgrades along approximately 100 miles of transmission lines and the construction of two new substations between the Power Authority’s central transmission hub in Marcy and New Scotland in Albany County. The project aims to use existing electric transmission corridors, according to the governor’s office announcement.
Replacing aging and outdated transmission towers, some more than 60 years old, with the latest technologies will enable more efficient energy flow while reducing the number of transmission structures, Cuomo’s staff said in the announcement.
The funding approved Tuesday will cover the Power Authority’s share of the costs of permitting, licensing, engineering, property acquisition and interconnection agreements. The Power Authority is a public benefit corporation that provides power, mostly from hydro, to community electric systems and cooperatives, governments and small businesses and non-profits.
LS Power, a New York City-based energy generation and transmission company, plans to submit an application to construct the project to the New York Public Service Commission in the second half of 2019. Following a full review and authorization by the commission, including opportunities for public participation, the rebuilt transmission lines are expected to be in service by the end of 2023.
Assembly Energy Chair Michael Cusick, D-Dist. 63 of Staten Island, said in the announcement that New York has long had two grids operating simultaneously with a choke point in the capital region, making the transmission of clean, upstate energy to downstate load centers extremely challenging.
Projects like the one announced by the Power Authority and LS Power will go a long way to ensure the energy system remains reliable while the state transitions to a greener, more efficient electrical grid, the Assembly’s energy committee chair added. State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, had previously served as chair the Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications committee.