Progress on LS Power Grid NY and NYPA Central East Energy Connect Transmission Project in Schenectady County
Halfway Milestone of 93-Mile Transmission Line Upgrade from Marcy to New Scotland Advances New York’s Clean Energy Goals
Upgrade Hardens Grid Against Extreme Weather and Supports Clean Energy Jobs
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced significant progress on the Central East Energy Connect transmission project, a comprehensive upgrade of transmission lines between Marcy in Oneida County and New Scotland in Albany County to support clean energy transmission across the state. Governor Hochul also celebrated the completion and energization of a new state-of-the-art Gordon Road Substation in Rotterdam in Schenectady County as well as the installation of more than 270 new steel transmission monopoles along the 93-mile line. This new and upgraded energy infrastructure allows for increased power transfer capacity, enables renewable energy pathways, enhances reliability and resiliency of the state power grid and advances the goals outlined in the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
“This project is a critical component of New York’s tireless efforts to build out our transmission system, which will help supercharge our transition to a clean energy grid and deliver more renewable energy to all New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration remains committed to ensuring our state continues leading the nation on large-scale energy infrastructure projects like Central East Energy Connect to support renewable energy deployment and drastically lower our emissions, all while creating good paying jobs and strengthening local economies.”
“We’ve reached an exciting milestone in our transition to clean energy with the completion of the new state-of-the-art substation at Gordon Road in Rotterdam,” said Lieutenant Governor Delgado. “Transmission infrastructure is a critically important element of our clean energy future and this project will ultimately help power New York’s homes and businesses across the state when fully completed.”
The Central East Energy Connect project began construction in February 2021 to upgrade the electric transmission capacity along 93 miles in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region along a heavily congested corridor. The joint project by LS Power Grid New York and the New York Power Authority will allow for the flow of more renewable energy across the state and help put New York on track to meet its nation-leading clean energy goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Those goals include the target of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030 and economy-wide carbon neutrality.
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado viewed the project’s progress at its new Gordon Road substation today along with New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll, LS Power CEO Paul Segal and President and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator Rich Dewey. They were joined by additional state energy and environment representatives.
The Central East Energy Connect project also will stimulate the local and regional economies by creating and supporting hundreds of clean energy construction jobs.
LS Power CEO Paul Segal said, “Energizing the Gordon Road substation and reaching the mid-way point of the Central East Energy Connect project is a major accomplishment for the LS Power and NYPA teams and we look forward to completing the project in late 2023. LS Power is excited to apply its experience in developing and operating transmission infrastructure to execute efficient, cost-effective solutions that help advance New York State’s clean energy transition.”
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “The Central East Energy Connect transmission project is a great example of the myriad of ways in which the Power Authority is leveraging its expertise in the design, building and operation of large energy infrastructure projects. This is evidence of the New York Power Authority’s strong collaborations with other state and private entities to help New York realize its nation-leading climate goals. I’m pleased to see work moving along on this project making New York’s transmission system cleaner and more reliable and resilient.”
The $615 million Central East Energy Connect upgrade project will replace existing lines and wooden poles – some of which are about 60 years old – with stronger steel monopoles in existing utility rights-of-way. Additionally, the project will build two new substations. In total, the project will remove approximately 1,250 aging transmission structures and replace them with approximately 700 new monopoles. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023, will have nearly five times the capacity of the existing lines and will help meet New York State’s energy needs. View recent photos of the line construction here.
President and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator Rich Dewey said, “This milestone with the Central East Energy Connect brings the state and our electric system that much closer to our decarbonization goals while improving reliability. The New York Independent System Operator has long advocated for additional transmission capacity as crucial to the grid of the future and the delivery of clean energy to consumers. The New York Independent System Operator is proud to have collaborated with LS Power and the New York Power Authority on this important project.”
This is part of a larger buildout of transmission projects across the state, including more than 1,000 miles of planned transmission investments that will create opportunities to maximize the use of renewable energy for parts of the state that currently heavily rely 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 project in January 2021.
In addition to the Central East Energy Connect, the New York Power Authority is continuing work on its Moses-Adirondack Smart Path Reliability project in the North Country, and will begin construction soon on the Smart Path Connect project – a transmission project the New York Power Authority is undertaking with National Grid. Several additional transmission projects are in various stages of construction, including: New York Transco’s New York Energy Solution, which involves the rebuild of approximately 54 miles of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley; and NextEra Energy Transmission New York’s recently completed and energized Empire State Line Project of approximately 20 miles in Western New York.
Two new major transmission and renewable energy projects, which were selected by Governor Hochul last year to help transport clean energy to New York City, are on deck and awaiting permitting: Clean Path New York, a project developed through a collaboration between the New York Power Authority and Forward Power (a joint venture of Invenergy and energyRe) which recently filed its Article VII application; and the Champlain Hudson Power Express Transmission Project developed by Transmission Developers Inc.
For more information about the Central East Energy Connect project, visit the project’s website.
Assemblymember Michael J. Cusick said, “Investing to upgrade the infrastructure of our transmission lines will serve our State well into the future as we continue to strive toward reaching our renewable energy goals. Creating efficient electric transmission capacity will be key to achieving those goals.”
Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara said, “I’m excited to see the new state-of-the-art Gordon Road substation come online in my hometown of Rotterdam to help move us towards lower emissions and cleaner energy. These investments into our energy grid not only support our infrastructure needs but also bring more jobs and new opportunities to our area, making it a win-win for our community.”
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “New York continues to light the way when it comes to building a green, modern economy powered by clean and renewable energy that supports good-paying jobs. This project continues New York’s progress towards meeting our climate mandates and reducing our reliance on fossil-fuels, while building climate resiliency and creating hundreds of good-paying construction jobs. I commend Governor Hochul for her commitment to addressing climate change and transitioning our energy grid to one that is truly clean, green, and renewable.”
Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature Anthony Jasenski said, “As a center for energy innovation, Schenectady County is proud to be a part of this project and home to the new Gordon Road Substation. This upgraded energy pathway will help deliver renewable energy to homes, businesses and municipalities across the state, much like our 25-megawatt Schenectady County Solar Energy Consortium powers all nine of our local municipalities, while providing a cleaner future for our families.”
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’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. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.