By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor
In order to improve the reliability of electricity transmission, Governor Cuomo announced the approval of two projects in North Country: the replacement of the transmission cable between New York and Vermont that goes under Lake Champlain, and funding to license and design the reconstruction of the 70-year-old, 85-mile Moses-Adirondack transmission lines.
“These projects will help create a modern, more reliable and more resilient power grid for the North Country and New York as a whole,” Governor Cuomo said. “This administration has taken significant steps to rebuild this state’s energy infrastructure and we remain committed to creating one of the most innovative power grids in the country.”
The first project consists of the replacement of transmission cables that connect a New York Power Authority substation in Plattsburgh to a substation in Milton, Vt. owned by the Vermont Electric Power Co. The line is designed as two-way transmission, thus one utility could bolster the other’s supply on peak demand days. Costs are estimated at $68 million and Vermont Electric will help finance the project. The project is part of a $726 million, multi-year transmission life extension and modernization initiative launched by the New York Power Authority in 2012 as part of the Energy Highway Blueprint.
The tasks of the project include the design, fabrication, and installation of new terminal structures at the substations. Furthermore, 1.7 miles of cable along the bottom of Lake Champlain need replacing. Four new cables will replace some that were originally installed in the 1950s and 1970s; these will have fiber optic capability and can support increased energy demand.
The second project—the replacement of the NYPA’s Moses-Adirondack transmission lines—represents the first phase of SMART (Strengthening Moses-Adirondack with Resilient Technology) Path. The cables run 85 miles from Massena to a substation in Croghan, Lewis County. The 230kV lines were built in 1942 by the federal government and were acquired in 1953 by the New York Power Authority.
The route for 77 miles of the lines travels on outmoded wooden structures that require replacement on a regular basis. New 230kV lines on steel structure sitting on concrete foundations will be installed.
The trustees ratified a $2.76 million contract with Louis Berger & Associates to conduct the licensing review, expected to take approximately two years. Construction on the line is scheduled to begin in 2018 and finalize in 2023. Once completed, the technological improvements implemented in SMART Path will ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity on high-demand days.
Both projects were approved by the NYPA Board of Trustees, also consistent with the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. “The Lake Champlain cables and the Moses-Adirondack lines play an integral role in the reliability of the State’s electric supply,” said Gil Quiniones, New York Power Authority president & CEO. “The end result will be systems that will not only expand the State’s electric capacity, but do so by deploying state-of-the-art technology while having a minimal impact on the environment.”