Gov. Hochul announces completion of New York’s Smart Path

Published on June 22, 2023 by Liz Carey

© Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

New York Power Authority’s 78-mile transmission line project, Smart Path, has been completed, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday.

The clean energy transmission infrastructure project in the state’s North Country upgrades transmission lines that span from Messena in St. Lawrence County to Croghan in Lewis County, the governor’s office said. The project modernized the transmission line, giving it a smaller environmental footprint and strengthening the state’s energy grid against storms.

“The completion of the Smart Path transmission line is an example of a massive energy infrastructure improvement project that will onboard clean energy to the state’s electricity grid,” Hochul said. “Smart Path commenced at the height of the pandemic and now proudly has been completed on-time and on-budget — helping provide lasting reliability and environmental benefits to New York’s electrical grid for decades to come.”

The project’s completion also puts the state on track to meet its energy goals of 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030 and zero-emissions in its electricity sector by 2040.

In order to harden the lines against weather events while enabling the secure transmission of clean energy from the northern part of the state to its electric power grid, the project modernized poles and rebuilt line to transmit up to 345 kV. In the near term, officials said, the lines will operate at the 230 kV level until the Smart Path Connect project the state started recently with National Grid is finished. The lines are rated to carry up to 900 megawatts, enough clean energy to power up to nearly 1 million average-sized home.

“The Moses-Adirondack Smart Path transmission line was the Power Authority’s oldest asset, built in 1942, acquired by the Authority in the early 50s, and now it has become one of our newest I am immensely proud of the Power Authority team, the skilled laborers, and contractors who completed this challenging work on this major transmission artery safely under unusually difficult circumstances,” said Justin E. Driscoll, Acting President New York Power Authority said.

With a price tag of $484 million, the Smart Path project replaced some of the transmission lines original H-frame wood poles with new single steel monopoles. Additionally, the work involved the installation of high-voltage transmission lines from Massena to Croghan that were strung by helicopter.

Eventually, the Smart Power project will connect with the Smart Path Connect project. A collaboration between the New York Power Authority and National Grid, that project will rebuild approximately 100 miles of transmission lines in the North Country and the Mohawk Valley. When connected, the two projects will form one continuous upgraded transmission line across the state.