The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Board of Trustees has authorized several initiatives advancing multi-year programs designed to upgrade and extend the operating life of its generation and transmission assets. 

The trustees have authorised additional spending and contract awards tied to NYPA’s Transmission Life Extension and Modernization Program, Communications Backbone Program; Next Generation Niagara and the Marcy to New Scotland Transmission Upgrade project, which NYPA is undertaking with LS Power Grid New York.

“The Power Authority is very proud of the work we are doing to help prepare New York State’s generation and transmission assets for the zero-emission energy grid of the future,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “NYPA’s Board of Trustees shares Governor Cuomo’s sense of urgency to move the state toward a green energy economy, and these authorizations will help New York meet its aggressive energy and environmental goals.”

These multi-year upgrade and modernization programs will advance NYPA’s utility-wide digitization efforts and are foundational to NYPA’s strategic plan, which was recently updated to strengthen the Authority’s role in advancing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. These infrastructure investments also will help New York State meet its overarching goal of onboarding more renewable energy and building resiliency in the state’s energy system to combat the effects of climate change.

The NYPA Board of Trustees actions at their recent meeting included the following:

  • Authorized $25 million for the completion of the final phase of NYPA’s Communications Backbone Program. The Communication Backbone Program is designed to establish a dedicated, redundant communications network that builds on NYPA’s existing infrastructure while leveraging available infrastructure from independent dark-fiber service providers to reduce dependency on commercial telecommunication providers. It began in 2017 and is scheduled to conclude in 2022. 
  • Authorized two resolutions valued at $139 million for the final phase of upgrades to equipment in the Niagara Power Plant’s switchyard. The upgrades are part of NYPA’s statewide Transmission Life Extension and Modernization program, which kicked off in 2012. The authorizations cover the design, purchase and installation of new autotransformers, circuit breakers, switches and ancillary equipment. Additionally, the authorizations will be used to replace protective relay equipment that has reached the end of its useful life.
  • Authorized $200 million to begin construction of the Marcy to New Scotland Transmission upgrade project that obtained Article 7 approval last week from the New York State Public Service Commission and is scheduled to begin construction next month.NYPA is collaborating with LS Power Grid New York to rebuild a 93-mile transmission corridor between the Town of Marcy in Oneida County and the Town of New Scotland in Albany County. This project is one of several key projects highlighted in Governor Cuomo’s recent State of the State address that will increase capacity, reduce congestion costs, and speed the flow of more clean renewable energy across the state.
  • Awarded a 15-year contract valued at $18 million for the design, manufacture, and delivery of new turbine shafts for the mechanical overhaul of Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant’s turbine units. The contract is part of a 15-year, $1.1 billion upgrade program known as Next Generation Niagara to extend the operating life of New York’s largest clean hydropower plant.