NYPA awards contracts for transmission facilities upgrades

3 June 2014

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has awarded three contracts valued at $21 million to two New York firms as part of the utility's Transmission Life Extension and Modernization (TLEM) Program, a multi-year effort to improve the reliability of its transmission facilities in various parts of the US state.

Two contracts, for $16 million, were awarded to O'Connell Electric Company of Victor, Ontario County, with a third $5 million contract won by Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. O'Connell Electric's first contract, for $5.2 million, will involve site preparation work related to the installation of new autotransformers - each 38ft tall, 24ft wide -- at St. Lawrence-FDR's Massena Substation. The second $10.8 million contract covers the demolition of existing transmission equipment and installation of 16 power circuit breakers and one capacitor bank at the Robert Moses Switchyard in Massena. Greenman-Pederson's up to $5 million contract covers inspection and consulting services for the application of paints and other coatings to protect NYPA transmission towers in Northern, Central and Western New York from weathering and corrosion and to extend their service life.

"[The] contract awards support the modernization and good stewardship of NYPA transmission facilities and are part of the public- and private-sector partnerships being pursued under Governor Cuomo's Energy Highway Blueprint for bringing about a more reliable, economic and versatile electric power grid," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. "These partnerships will help to underpin jobs at New York enterprises supporting the improvements while advancing initiatives that are imperative to a modernized electric power system for New York residents and businesses."

NYPA owns and operates approximately one-third of the state's high-voltage power lines, and has transmission assets and facilities that date back to the 1950s and 1960s when it built its major hydroelectric power plants on the St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers. The $726 million transmission LEM, launched in December 2012, is being implemented to support Governor Cuomo's New York Energy Highway Blueprint and incorporates the latest technologies to harden and strengthen the transmission system.

The NYPA TLEM initiative, which extends to 2025, encompasses transmission assets in Central, Western and Northern regions of the state and constitutes projects that include refurbishing transmission line structures and upgrading power plant switchyards and substations. Other dimensions of the overall initiative include investing in smart-grid technologies for maximizing the efficiency of transmission facilities and for achieving greater "situational awareness" of their performance in variable conditions.

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