Governor Cuomo Announces $24 Million Investment To Advance Statewide Transmission System Modernization Program

North Country Infrastructure Improvements, Technology Upgrades to Help Modernize Power Grid into a System that is Cleaner, More Resilient.

Print Email

Photo by: ekamelev

Albany, NY - February 2, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $24 million investment in projects to upgrade and modernize New York's power transmission system. The investment is tied to two multi-year contracts recently approved by the New York Power Authority for upgrades at substations connected to NYPA's St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project in the North Country, which provides clean hydropower to New Yorkers. The investments include digital sensors on equipment to help meet the Governor's 2018 State of the State directive to transform NYPA into a fully digital utility. The program will also deploy new technologies that increase efficiencies and productivity, lower costs and minimize downtime and outages, supporting the Governor's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to transform the state's power grid into a cleaner, more resilient and affordable system for all New Yorkers.
"New York's power transmission system must meet the needs of a 21st century sustainable, energy driven economy," Governor Cuomo said. "These proactive investments in our power grid are vital to our clean energy economy and move us another step closer to operating a technology-forward power system that truly represents the digital age."
The multi-year contracts of $14 million and $10 million will support the purchase of 35 high-voltage circuit breakers which are used to control and protect circuits along NYPA's more than 1,400 miles of transmission lines. The transmission modernization work also involves installing new surge arrestors, transformers, breakers and relays throughout the substations, covering more than 100 acres. O'Connell Electric Co., Inc. of Victor, N.Y. was approved for $10 million for construction services and ABB Inc., of Mount Pleasant, Pa. was approved for $14 million to supply circuit breakers. 
"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, NYPA's investments in our transmission system with these infrastructure improvements is helping us digitize the New York grid and energy system to improve operations, create efficiencies and provide customers with more distributed sources of energy, such as solar and energy storage," said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State. "By partnering with the private sector and adding new technologies into transmission, NYPA is showing how we can more rapidly move the grid of yesterday into the grid of the future."
"We are dedicated to preparing New York's energy system for tomorrow, making it smarter, more digital and more resilient," said NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones. "Investments in our energy infrastructure, like these substation upgrades, will help ensure NYPA's operational reliability, performance and effectiveness for years to come enabling us to continue our mission of providing low-cost hydropower and innovative energy services to our customers and more New Yorkers."
This work is part of NYPA's $726-million Transmission Life Extension and Modernization program, launched in 2012. Other dimensions of the overall transmission modernization initiative include investing in smart-grid technologies for maximizing the efficiency of transmission facilities and for achieving greater "situational awareness" of power asset performance in variable conditions. These digital enhancements will help NYPA meet Governor Cuomo's directive to become the first end-to-end digital utility in the nation.
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.
NYPA's St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project is one of the state's premier hydroelectric power assets that allows NYPA to provide low-cost power as well as power proceeds to businesses in Northern New York and across the state. NYPA's economic development programs are tied to commitment of more than 400,000 jobs and nearly $33 million in capital investments that positively impact the state's economy.
NYPA's Transmission Life Extension and Modernization program, 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.
For more information, visit the NYPA Transmission Projects: A Model of Continuous Improvement link on NYPA's webpage.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About NYPA
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.