Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of First Five-Mile Section of Central East Energy Connect Transmission Line in Schenectady County
93-Mile Transmission Upgrade Project from Marcy to New Scotland Supports Hundreds of Clean Energy Jobs, Hardens Line Against Extreme Weather, and Supports Renewable Energy Transmission Across New York State
June 9, 2021 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion and energization of the first segment of the Central East Energy Connect, which upgrades transmission lines between Marcy in Oneida County and New Scotland in Albany County. Completion of the first segment – in the towns of Princetown and Rotterdam – involved the installation of approximately 33 new steel transmission monopoles along a five-mile stretch of the $615 million project. Recently renamed ‘Central East Energy Connect,’ the transmission improvement project kicked off construction earlier this year and when finished will upgrade energy transmission capacity along a 93-mile transmission line in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region. The project, a joint effort by LS Power Grid New York and the New York Power Authority, puts New York on track to meet its nation leading clean energy goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which includes a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality. The transmission project was visited today by New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones, LS Power CEO Paul Segal, and Rich Dewey, President and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator, along with other state energy and environment representatives.
“The energization of the first section of the vital transmission project showcases New York’s leadership building a green energy superhighway that best prepares us for the future,” said Governor Cuomo. “The work we’re undertaking on the Central East Energy Connect transmission line is emblematic of New York’s focus on upgrading transmission across our state, and we’re making the largest transmission infrastructure investments in more than 30 years. These major investments will help facilitate New York’s transition to a carbon-free energy system that is reliable and resilient.”
The Central East Energy Connect is designed to increase transmission capacity and help deliver energy, including renewable energy, to higher demand areas across the state. In addition, the project will stimulate the local and regional economies by creating and supporting hundreds of clean energy construction jobs.
In a recent rate case settlement, LS Power Grid New York provided savings for New York consumers through their commitment to a cost-containment approach that reduces the total projected cost of the project to $615 million, more than $200 million less than the estimated cost provided by the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) independent evaluation.
LS Power CEO Paul Segal said, “Our team has made tremendous progress since starting construction just four months ago to reach the energization of the Central East Energy Connect’s first segment. It’s an exciting step to achieving New York State’s clean energy future, while creating jobs and economic growth. LS Power will continue to invest in innovative solutions as we transition to a lower carbon electric grid.”
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, “The Central East Energy Connect transmission line upgrades will help ensure the resiliency of New York’s energy transmission system and facilitate our state’s transition to cleaner energy. I’m pleased to see work moving expeditiously on this project and the energization of this first section. With each completed section, New York State’s transmission system becomes that much stronger, cleaner, and more reliable, while simultaneously strengthening the local economy by supporting local jobs.”
New York Independent System Operator President and CEO Rich Dewey said, “The NYISO has long highlighted the ‘Tale of Two Grids,’ which speaks to the critical need for increased transmission capability from upstate to downstate to achieve the state’s decarbonization and renewable goals. This milestone brings the state closer to those goals and the NYISO is proud to have played a role. We commend the Governor, NYPA, and LS Power on this project, which also demonstrates that our collective transmission planning processes are delivering on the grid of the future.”
Construction involves replacing existing lines and wooden poles, some of which are about 60 years old, with stronger steel monopoles in existing utility rights-of-way and building two new substations. In total, the project will remove approximately 1,250 aging transmission structures and replace them with approximately 700 monopoles. The work will increase the resiliency of the line to extreme weather and support the transmission of clean energy across the state. The project, which is on schedule to be completed in 2023, will have nearly five times the capacity of the existing lines being replaced to meet New York State’s energy needs now and into the future. View recent photos of line construction.
The Governor first unveiled a major buildout of new statewide transmission projects in his 2021 State of the State address. The projects together will form New York’s Green Energy Superhighway – 250 miles of planned investments that will create opportunities to maximize the use of renewable energy for parts of the state that rely heavily on fossil fuel plants. The New York State Public Service Commission approved a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Central East Energy Connect – Marcy to New Scotland transmission upgrade project at its January 21 meeting.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality.
New York State Senate Energy Chair Kevin Parker said, “This progress on the Central East Energy Connect project is great news for the resiliency of New York’s energy infrastructure. New York’s transmission system plays a vital role in combatting climate change and our investments in this energy infrastructure will have benefits for New Yorkers for generations to come.”
New York State Assembly Energy Chair Michael J. Cusick said, “The completion of this first section is a prime example of our state’s commitment to upgrading and transforming our energy infrastructure. Expanding transmission capacity is a critical component in paving the way for the green energy grid of the future. This project is critical for achieving the goals of the CLCPA and this completion of the first segment is a promising development.”
For more information about the Central East Energy Connect project, visit the project website.